Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Smoke It 'n' Die - Believe In Me (feat. Big E & Dash Flow)

Hear The Track Here

Getting towards the end of the month it's time for the almost customary appearance of Howard Billington, Gravesend's finest troubadour, in whatever persona he thinks appropriate - in this case SInD (Smoke It 'n' Die innit). As much as I like Howard Billington solo, I think I have probably heaped more praise on his group than anywhere else. Take Your Shot, a track I have never actually reviewed has been one of my favourites tracks ever since I first discovered the video for it and is well on its way to establishing a permanent place in my heart. Suffice to say that I like the work that Howard and the band do very much and they have been within a whisker of being my Artist Of The Year a couple of times...

I think the genesis of Believe In Me stems from Howard's solo work that, like a lot of his songs, are fitted to the current concept/bandname. Must say it generally works out a treat, giving each entity a different sound and style. Joining Howard, Grace Jackson and Louis Marshall (aka SInD) are the enigmatically named Big E & Dash Flow. This is all looking suspiciously like hip hop isn't it? That proves to be the case although, bless 'im, not without the stamp of Billington going right through it. Big E and Dash Flow are obviously American rappers and the difference between them and Howard's very English delivery that really raise this into something well worth listening to.

There is something raw and unfinished about the production though, but believe me this is small change when put against the energy and general feelgood factor the track itself engenders. However, at the heart of it is Howard Billington, one of the UK's finest unsigned songwriters, the kind of songwriter that writes from life. Yet another track from the excellent Joyful In Defiance album, which definitely sums up the whole ethos of Billington doings and certainly the album to gather to your bosom this year. I concede that yes, Howard and his cohort seem to be a little - how can I put this - quirky, but believe me it gets under your skin...

Highly Recommended (if rough) blast of transatlantic tomfoolery.

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