Jamie T - Trick
Wimbledon’s finest returns with his follow up to 2014’s well received Carry On The Grudge, smashing any ideas that his previous five year hiatus was the start of a trend. Trick sees more of the same from the king of crossover, bringing together elements of rock, rap, punk, pop, and reggae, mashing them into a blender and putting them into a scrapbook held together by his South West London twang. However, Trick sees a darker tone to Jamie T that's not usually at the forefront of his music, with a more sardonic and bitter edge.
This is demonstrated by the choice of album opener, and first single, 'Tinfoil Boy' with its brutal Rage Against The Machine riffing and refrain of “It’s times like these I feel I’ve been tricked into waking up”. The brutality continues with 'Drone Strikes' which manages to combine the more commercial end of grime with Nine Inch Nails guitars. From this point onwards, the album does let up and give you chance to breathe as it starts to settle into the Jamie T template of switching up musical genres and keeping you guessing where in the spectrum of noise he's going to land next. Album highlights include 'Tescoland' with its supermarket tannoy announcement for a clean up due to a suicide in aisle five before launching into 'Clampdown', very Combat Rock era The Clash, the growling chainsaw dub bass line of 'Police Tapes' with a knowing sneer, the goth gloom disco of 'Solomon Eagle', and the Verve-esque ballad of 'Sign Of The Times' reflecting on Jamie’s career and the UK live music scene.
It's the darker tone that means that Trick doesn’t grab you with the same immediacy as previous releases, but it is a grower, and the show of a true UK talent that can leap from the poppier baggy-esque 'Dragon Bones' to melodic punk of 'Robin Hood'. It's a more grown-up approach to the youthful exuberance of the Jamie T template - he, like many contemporaries such as Alex Turner, have started to edge into their thirties - and Trick is his response to this. Thematically this is of conflict in the age of responsibility in the modern world, but Jamie’s approach to this should be all of ours - think about it a bit, spit in its face, and don’t forget to have some bloody fun!