Some things belong in the past. Stereo MC’s are one of them. Sounding like Robbie Williams remixing Rock DJ with a synthesiser and ‘wicked kewl electro beats!’ opener Get On It isn’t a very promising start to what already seems like a not-so-promising album. With a quality somewhere in between sounding like a couple of middle aged men stuck in the mid to late 80s and NME’s most embarrassing nu rave collective, Stereo MC’s fourth album in sixteen years is a little less refined than one would think it to be.
With an aggrandizement of spacey synthy sounds, The Here & Now offers no alternative to the fractured electronic nonsense offered by the albums embarrassing start. Sounding like your dad having a seizure at the local Roller Disco, City Lights pulses with exuberant bass lines and breakdowns, whilst still remaining as colossal and edgy as the working script from Snakes On A Plane.
With an amalgamation of mildly interesting drum beats and an attitude that silently spits the phrase “we’re trying to be out there but failing!” Gringo is born. Revolution arrives some seven tracks in, and being an incessantly consistent number, it lives up to its low expectations. With very little progression in 4 minutes, it’s clear that very little is expected for the remainder of this disappointing album.
Closer Human sounds very similar to many of the songs on the rest of the album, and is unsurprisingly not saved by a jaunty climatic blast. Instead, a man sings in an irritating southern accent and sneers with a false sense of self righteousness, and a few plinky plonky notes are added at the end, as an exchange for a grand finale. Oh, and another boring song is added on the end. Hallelujah!
With a gauzy aesthetic as transparent as Britney’s favourite underwear, Stereo MCs have finally shown their true colours. Give it up lads, it’s all about the youth nowadays.