Karl Phillips & The Midnight Ramblers
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Karl Phillips & The Midnight Ramblers


Band Alternative Hip Hop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"It’s far from predictable. It’s anything but boring."

It’s far from predictable. It’s anything but boring.
Released 10 Jan 2011, Medical Records / By Martin Guttridge-Hewitt / Rating:

“Well, I think it went a little bit like, er...” muses Phillips as this streetwise debut kicks off. Names like Mike Skinner and David E Sugar could well follow, in this case for the right reasons.

That the opening track, 'Situation', also offers intellectual comments like “I’m going out in a bit, because I wanna get smashed out my face” summarises the attitude inherent here. This is the sound of checked shirts, lager and jumped taxis. Raucous and righteous, like the ska ethic smeared over numbers like 'Pink Champagne', it’s a tongue in cheek onslaught against anything, everything, and yet nothing at all.

In contrast with the aforementioned male soloists, The Ramblers and their wisecracking leader stick closer to a rock blueprint. Even the synthesized bassline, scratch intro and broken beat rhythms of 'Okey Dokey' can’t steal the limelight from the guitars. Thankfully, as that track’s instrumental interlude proves, the hands responsible for strumming those strings are both deft and inventive.

Further highlights come in the form of the ironic ode to scrumpy that is 'Strongbow', a tune of fists on chest wideboy swagger that leaves the listener drunk on trumpets and staccato chords. Then 'Liabilities' offers choruses of album closing jump-up intensity, and arena filling solos that make Eddie Van Halen look bashful. But then there’s more than simply a distorted homage being paid, or played, here.

Elsewhere we’re taken to some South London garage party when the sub and two-step kicks of 'Danger H' drop. And then there are shades of metal, hip-hop and dubstep to take a break in too. It’s far from predictable. It’s anything but boring. What’s more, there’s enough genuine passion evident here to forgive the tracklist’s near misses, leaving you focusing on the fresh feeling this album creates. - ClickMusic

""as nihilistic as anything punk threw up in 77""

Affectionate send-up or vicious parody? Either way Phillips' aural assault is invigorating, mashing up nu-metal, ska, rap and anything else to hand, and firing it off with well oiled articulation.

The Situation is as nihilistic as anything punk threw up in 77, Okey Dokey a smirking avalanche of rhyme, but Cheers Mate is a little too close to a Mike Skinner offcut, before a snarling guitar riff rides to the rescue.

Chav alcohol culture is shaken up in Strongbow, while Biggy 2 Shoes suggests the return of pogoing is just around the corner. Intelligent, uncompromising and hard as anything out of Harrow.

Download this: Danger H, Pink Champagne - The Scotsman

"Compelling Pic’N’Mix of ska, grime, nu-metal and more"

Objectionable chav or music maestro? Either way, this MC knows his onions on this compelling Pic’N’Mix of ska, grime, nu-metal and more.

Straight outta Harrow via Brighton, Karl Phillips’ debut suggests a street poet wannabe, wrapping his lyrics up in a clutch of cool tuneage.

And along these 11 tracks he showcases an undeniable ear for melody, delving into ska, dubstep, nu-metal and grime to mash up his own sound.

Ditching bleeps and beats for traditional instruments to feather his lyrical nest, we get guitar solos and beefy bass (Liabilities) cosying up to the trumpet-laced ska of Cheers Mate and Strongbow while the MC, singer and ‘wasteman’ delivers irreverent bravado on top.

With Gatling-gun delivery, Phillips offers an affectionate lampooning of leisure park-prowling ‘plastic gangstas’ in pimped-up hatchbacks, low-level dealers and preened teen prima donnas.

Adventurous, energetic rhythms and a sense of humour keeps Phillips a step ahead. - This Is London

"Every once in a while you hear an album and think, this is the one."

Every once in a while you hear an album and think, this is the one. It is a very rare occurrence. Sometimes it may be the new LP from your favourite band. At others it may be the emergence of an artist so similar, or completely aloof, from the music you love to chill out too.

Karl Phillips & The Midnight Ramblers expertly entwine the fierce and lively riffs of ska with the “don’t give a fig” attitudes and aggressive lyrical styles of hip hop with some dashes of punk and grime thrown in for good measure.

Lyrically it’s one of the more vibrant and down-to-earth masterpieces heard in a long while. Phillips states that he was “never really in to music” so where he developed his lyrical style beggars belief. Witty and quick, his tracks regularly garner a smile, a little snigger which gains a few strange looks on the bus.

It is one of the most honest assessments of 21st Century Britain you could ever ask for and there hasn’t been an album more in touch with modern strife since The Holloways released So This Is Great Britain? in 2006.

Whether sending out messages to his rivals in Wellingborough and Brighton or discussing everyday male population disasters such as spilling another’s pint down your local, this LP speaks to Average Joe.

As Linkin' Park and Jay Z proved, there is just something a little bit special about rapping over the top of rock. These guys prove that theory further. If you do nothing else this week, get a copy of the track Danger H (Or Harold To His Mother). This, coupled with the rest of the album, will blow you away.

LEIGH SANDERS Rating: 5/5 - Daily Echo


Still working on that hot first release.



Currently at a loss for words...