Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip
The Logic Of Chance
Loads of British and American critics panned Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip’s debut album and wrote them off as a novelty act following the overnight success of “Thou Shalt Always Kill.” Pip’s accent and Dan’s highly-caffeinated production style on Angles was too outlandish for many ear drums to tolerate. While boasting a handful of excellent tracks, The Logic Of Chance finds the Essex duo making many of the same mistakes that plagued their first record.
The cult fame garnered from “Thou Shalt Always Kill” seems to have imbued in Scroobius Pip the desire to record far too much spoken word over beats. More often that not, it comes across as preachy and dull. Despite being well-intentioned, the sex ed knowledge Pip attempts to drop on “Get Better” is obnoxious and spoils a catchy chorus. He is far more endearing when he sticks to understated raps along the personal and religious spectrum versus political poems. Pip’s idealistic, fight-the-power rants grow tiresome on “Stake A Claim” and “Great Britain.” Citing knife crime statistics in spoken word style may give the outsider a snapshot of the struggle, but it’s hardly an interesting or visceral attack on the political landscape. The heavily-bearded emcee’s vague call to arms misses its mark by way of mundane lyricism and uninspired delivery.
Scroobius Pip’s religious musings, which initially commanded attention with Angles‘ brilliant, Radiohead-sampling “Letter From God To Man,” are among the wittiest observations on the new record. “Five Minutes” has Pip waxing philosophical on morality and consequence. He comes across as an occasionally charismatic leader with a megaphone aimed at a sparse audience in a dimly lit bar. Pip’s rhymes are far too simplistic for his lofty agenda on a number of verses, but Dan Le Sac’s electronica cum hip-hop backdrop keeps things palatable.
Dan’s production hits its stride with the less is more approach on tracks like “Five Minutes” and “Cowboi.” The preponderance of beats on The Logic Of Chance, however, strive for a dance floor aesthetic which doesn’t always mesh with the lyrical vibe of Pip. When a happy medium is reached (e.g. the drum and bass of “Sick Tonight”), Dan’s pop sensibilities accentuate Pip’s socially-conscious, catchy hooks. The lo-fi dexterity of “Inert Explosions” and “Five Minutes” play to the duo’s strong suits and are the type of songs they should focus their energy on if they ever want to make a front-to-back quality record.
Song you’ll remember in five years: “Five Minutes”
Line you’ll remember in five years: “For the bad times I wish you’d just admit it and never cast a shadow across my bed / But for the good times I wish you five minutes in Heaven before the devil knows you’re dead” (from “Five Minutes”)