Hear The Track Here
I came across this 22 year old rapper/producer hailing from Newcastle (why ay!) by reviewing his Dancing With Death (October 2005) and coming away with a less than favourable opinion. Since then though, along came the impeccable Cradle To Grave (December 2005), an intelligent, rock oriented peice with some killer hooks. It also showed not to underestimate the guy lyrically either as the track amply displayed. Little Miss Star (February 2006) and Digital (Sleepyhead Mix) (March 2006) only went to prove conclusively - at least to my satisfaction anyway - that Stain Online is UK hip hop at it's very best. Even if you don't like the genre (or rap in general) I'm sure you'd like Stain's manner and style.
Aye, a nice lad....
Like a lot of Stain's tracks, Fear will strike you more than once as being a tad Eminem, but given time and more than a few plays, the UK flavour comes through enough to dispel the Blond One. That is probably the reason why I like them so much because I find UK hip hop to operate from a different feel to the US one, and a lot of that sensibility comes through in the music. There's a lighter, airier feel to a lot Stain's work that won't appeal to someone who thrives on foul language and video game images, but if you want a nice mental poking while you are listening to music, this artist is likely to oblige. Again, though, no lyrics whatsoever on display, so you'll have to struggle along with it until it gets familiar.
This version proudly states it is a 'rough mix' and although I can hear that, I wouldn't have said it was far off done. Maybe a bit more sound-shaping, a more rounded mix and Bob may well be a relative. It's a moody, noir track that creates a feasibly edgey atmosphere, a feeling that the other show is just about to drop. If I had any input in what the final track should do, I think I have said it all above and I must admit I do look forward to the finished article. If Stain Online is a complete unknown to you then let me recommend him as a source of primo UK hip hop, even for those people who wouldn't normally listen to a 'rap' record. There's rap and there's rap.... I don't feel, however that I should rate this track in any way - maybe the final version will spur me to review it and then we'll see.