The Hilltop Hoods sure know how to challenge themselves.
Their last album – 2009’s State Of The Art – was filled with ace tunes, and confirmed their place as the kings of Oz hip hop. And after such a brilliant record, you’d wonder how Pressure, Suffa and DJ Debris could take things up another level and top it again. Well, in some ways, they have.
Album number five from the Adelaide hip hop stars is by far their deepest, darkest and most diverse yet. This was earmarked by the sounds stemming from their first single I Love It (featuring Sia) – which, despite being no Nosebleed Section, remains the most radio-friendly moment on here. However, the track which immediately follows it – Lights Out (filled with piano similar to Chase That Feeling and dirty guitar) isn’t far behind, and is an obvious choice for a future single.
Exploring new ground and trying different things seems to be the theme of Drinking From The Sun. The Underground sounds like something that has come from, well, the underground – while Speaking In Tongues is filled with a funky jazzy, brass-powered flavour.
Shedding The Balloon is filled with deep sounds and solid rhymes from Suffa, whereas Pressure nails it on the guitar-fuelled Good For Nothing, which is certain to become a live favourite. The collection of guest contributors also slot into things nicely on their respective tracks too – particularly in the groovy Living In Bunkers, which features Black Thought and Lotek.
And to top off all the experiments, there’s an ongoing three-part musical adventure called The Thirst, filled with short rhymes on top of challenging samples. Of note, Part 3 contains shout outs to all of the Golden Era family, and interestingly concludes with the lines “from day 1, we’re making two albums”… making us wonder if we’ll be hearing more material from the Hoods soon.
Drinking From The Sun is unlike any Australian hip hop record you’ve heard before. It’s not their most instant-hitting record to date, but once you give it a couple of listens, you’ll realise that it’s definitely some of the Hoods’ finest work – and a record that could quite capably stand its ground sitting next to releases from the global heavyweights of the rap world.
Drinking From The Sun is out through Golden Era Records on Friday.