As the Winter steadily draws to a close, the seasonal depression has slowly begun it’s process of dissipation, but it seems that a last wave of cold is about to hit Britain before the Spring can set. The London-based triple lyrical collective TPS consists of Big Toast and rapper/producers Jack Diggs and Strange Neighbour. Since launching their gradually recognised underground label Revorg Records in 2013, TPS return to the scene after soaking the success of their Big QP début album with their sequel release Hot Water Music ready to launch on February 21st. Its name takes from Charles Bukowski’s short stories for it’s depictions of city-life, work and excessive drinking which together bind a strong element of what to expect from the album content.
A cold and vivid first-person representation of the working class struggles, Hot Water Music is moody, miserable, and somewhat melancholic. So be prepared for depressive outlooks and perspectives, but also appreciate the distinctively rugged verses and creativity in producing the motivating tales which detail every common persons quest to overcome life’s hardships. Returning with an enhanced group reputation, Hot Water Music exercises the TPS Fam’s lyrical development and talented productions. It also features impressive collaborations from a range of acclaimed rap artists from across the South, including Res and Datkid from Split Prophets, Dark Circle, Triple Darkness’ Phoenix Da IceFire, Gee Bag, Bristol’s own Sirplus and fellow Revorg signed lyricist Efeks.
The intro A Poem Is A City emphasizes the almost unlimited visionary that poetry (or lyrics) can induce on a listener, leading into the down-beat track Monday Blues. The lyrical themes do contain elements similar to that of disgruntled blues music, and the choruses saxophone sample only enhances the bluesy emotion. Big Toast starts the bars in a low slur, as a hangover sufferer might, generally voicing his discontents before Strange Neighbour and Jack Diggs follow the depressive tact without much dynamism, however you do get an immediate taste of their diverse lyrical capabilities. Efeks features on track four 5 Nuggets and alongside TPS they profess consequential financial troubles, conquered by constant grind and big aspirations. Afterwards Sirplus guest vocals in HD and starts spitting on point to a first-rate beat for the oncoming lyrical onslaught. Strange Neighbour takes charge to confidently boast Revorg before Jack Diggs intercepts with intricately spat metaphorical wordplay. Big Toast finishes with volatile verses and a blunt TPS statement:
It’s the sounds of the A team / Saving the soul as it drowns in the mainstream
The album takes a respiratory break in the reflectively poignant As It Crossed My Mind skit, inducing downbeat levels. TPS tackle their antagonisms in Drift Away over a sentimental instrumental. The gripping rhymes are uplifting and the collective conclusively state music as the finest form of escapism from their lives. The pessimism and depression continues through Tea Break where they detail their troubles, persisting only to reach the end of the rat race. Dark Circle spits laid back verses and relaxes the albums tone in Chill In, rapping his daily routine. TPS unwind and rhyme about their happiness to relax and shed some more insight into their pleasures and perspectives.
Track eleven Hero see’s the TPS crew confess their criminal persona’s and unashamedly reflect on society as well as their own lives alongside Split Prophets member Datkid over a soothing instrumental. Broken Smile is another pensive track which reveals the clans cynical outlooks, dismissing life’s conventions and the world that spins as a result of finance. For a real boom-bap feel, hip-hop heads will appreciative the heavily collaboratedRuff Draft which entails TPS, Triple Darkness’ Pheonix Da IceFire, Split Prophets’ Res and veteran Gee Bag to a breathlessly engaging lyrical cypher over an industrial beat. With such diversely demonstrated wordplay this is undoubtedly Hot Water Music’s diamond in the dirt.
Although at times the lyrics can lack enough differentiation to mesmerise a listener across it’s seventeen-track entirety, in regards to producing a means of escapism, this certainly isn’t an album to slept on. With relevance to anyone grafting to see next week, Hot Water Music voices the genuine thoughts and concerns of those trapped in a struggle to survive in lower-class Britain. TPS have really stepped up to the plate and have contributed a genuinely exemplary record to the scene. The album offers brash humour as well as insightful sincerity, and undoubtedly there’s something in it for everyone to relate and enjoy.
Cop the record for yourselves from the Revorg Records website: