Goldie Lookin Chain - Asbo 4 Life

Ash Akhtar 16/05/2009

Rating: 3.5/5

Yes, it's the goldie lookin, it's the goldie lookin' - it's the Goldie Lookin Chain! Dropped from their major label (Warner / Atlantic) three years ago, things must have looked pretty grim for the Newport motherfunsters. Still, they released Under the counter in 2008 on Shellshock, and seeing as that failed to chart - this latest release arrives on their own label, Gold Dust Records.

So what of it? Parodying the title of N.W.A.'s fourth and final album Efil4zaggin, you would be forgiven for thinking that this could similarly be GLC's final outing.Why? Because in the five years since GLC first arrived and made us chuckle at their daft raps and leisurewear, they sound tired and a little out of date.

Nevertheless, that doesn't mean this is a bad album. If anything, it's the most musically ambitious record the group have ever made, and they begin by incorporating guitars and melody alongside their signature slices of stupidity. Mister Fahrenheit heralds the new era of GLC, splashing around with its Arctic Monkey-esque riffage and QOTSA handclaps. Unfortunately the description is more exciting than the song itself.

Fortunately, Everybody is a DJ is classic GLC. Filled with spiky 303 lines, traditional hip-hop breaks and humourous observations "You don't need skills no more to rock a parties, all you need's are MP3s and a load of batteries. Every Tom, Dick and Harry has a go, but they mix like oil and water - they got no flow."

Disguise continues the band's obsession with weed and adds some acoustic guitars into the mix while By any means necessary's breezy, catchy chorus rides the current wave of electronic indie sparked by the likes of Kasabian.

Of course, no GLC album would be complete without a bit of nostalgia, and 3D does not disappoint. A paean to the days when tapes and boomboxes ruled the music world: "Back in the day put on 2Live Crew, turned up the volume and the EQ, using pause to mix my tapes, with my sister and her mates throwing some shapes." It's great when you're old, yeah?

GLC continue their representation of working class life with the sentimental (yes, sentimental) Nothing ever happens , Unemployed and overdrawn which perhaps reflects more about the "igeneration" than Alex 'man of the people' Turner has managed to eloquently observe in quite some time.

Behind the jokes and stupidity, there is the danger that GLC are actually capable of something hinting at serious. Maybe it's time to drop the gimmicks and the schtick, boys.