Sometimes the best treats come from the most expected sources. If you’d have told us that a transatlantic collaboration between Belfast producer and one time Oppenheimer member Rocky O’Reilly and US rapper Tribe One would have produced a strong contender for our favourite record of the year to date, we may have raised a quizzical eyebrow – especially that they only actually met in person for the first time this month. Yet Malibu Shark Attack! the album from Malibu Shark Attack! the band is here and your life will be far poorer without it.
As the song ‘Better Off With Friends’ so eloquently puts it, this is what happens when intelligent rap music meets post-new wave-prog-electronic-indiecore-synthpop. The music is as joyous as you’d expect from O’Reilly’s past experience but, combined with Tribe One’s sharp wordplay, it all goes to another level. Roping in guests including the Dudley Corporation, Wonder Villains, Tim Wheeler, Math The Band and MC Lars, the record is at turns funny, emotional, inspiring and thoughtful but never less than brilliant.