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Black Grape 'Orange Head Review': The one where Kermit and Ryder grow up (a bit)

Cryptic lyrics, Mancunian swagger, ballsy charm wrapped in a fusion of funk, rock, acid house and hip hop - it can only mean the return of Black Grape.

Manc scallies, Kermit Leveridge and Shaun Ryder return with their first album in six years. It's full of cryptic lyrics, Mancunian swagger, ballsy charm, and wrapped in a fusion of funk, rock, acid house and hip hop.

Album opener 'Dirt' sets the tone with a dark and dragging hip-hop beat. There are slow funky tunes like 'Button Eyes', while 'Quincy' lays down a 70s funkadelic riff that allows Ryder to get his groove on; it's the sort of track that wouldn't be too out of place on their earlier albums. 'Milk' drifts into an excellent house dream - probably one of the record's highlights.

It's also a transitional album that ruminates on mortality, which possibly explains the darker and sombre nature of the album: “We’re getting old like The Rolling Stones" - only another few decades to go old chap! This is the one where Kermit and Ryder grow up (a bit). There's still plenty of schoolboy humour “Bad driver, bad driver, muff diver.”

There's nothing particularly groundbreaking on Orange Head, but we're pretty lucky that these bad boys of genre-bending are making music at all. There's a sense of nostalgia to the album, where Ryder and Kermit are embracing their halcyon days of the 90s tipping. Thankfully they are both now straight and manage to steer the album away from 'Dad high at acid house rave' territory and the result is banging!



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