sat 20/07/2024

Album: Kneecap - Fine Art | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Kneecap - Fine Art

Album: Kneecap - Fine Art

Belfast hip hop trio hit the spot with their lively debut

Fine Art: an early stab at Album of the Year

For a band just putting out their debut album, West Belfast’s Kneecap have been courting media attention for some while and have already been seen in the LA Times, The Guardian and even Variety. But then, they have previously released a swathe of irreverent but blistering singles (none of which appear on Fine Art) and have just previewed their cinematic biopic, which features Michael Fassbender, at the Sundance Film Festival.

The charismatic and hilarious Mo Chara, Mόglai Bap and DJ Prόvai have clearly been making a lot of friends, despite their claims that “the beauty of Kneecap is that we not only piss off people from the Unionist background. We also piss off people from the Irish community… We don’t discriminate”. However, they have certainly played up their wide boy image since getting together in 2017. That said, early tracks like “H.O.O.D.”, “Get Your Brits Out” and “Gael-Gigolos”, along with their live performances are more than enough to dispel any thoughts of Kneecap being the focus of undeserved record company hype.

Fine Art really does seal the deal – with tales of Guinness and cocaine-fuelled nights out powered by old school rave sounds, sleazy funk and low-end dubstep, all wrapped in a mashup of Irish and English. Highlights include the lively “Ibh Fiacha Linne” with its serious punk-rave attitude and banging 808 State sample, while the rocking “Fine Art” features some whiplash socially conscious rapping over a head spinning groove and “Parful” zips along on some monster dubstep vibes. In fact, there isn’t a duff track here and the likes of the atmospheric electro-folk of “3CAG” and Jelani Blackman’s swaggering rap on “Harrow Road” only bring plenty of added colour.

Kneecap come on like a Check Your Head-era Beastie Boys might have sounded if they’d been born in Belfast instead of New York – with a sharp, uninhibited and exuberant style and, while it’s way too early to call, Fine Art may be a very strong contender for Album of the Year.

  • More new music reviews on theartsdesk
Tales of Guinness and cocaine-fuelled nights out powered by old school rave sounds, sleazy funk and low-end dubstep

rating

Editor Rating: 
5
Average: 5 (1 vote)

Explore topics

Share this article

Add comment

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 15,000 pieces, we're asking for £5 per month or £40 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take a subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters