So Solid Crew - They Don't Know

Album of the year and anyone who cares to dispute it - outside now!!!! Not since Oasis first hit the scene in a flurry of headlines and classic tunes has a band been so relevant to the kids. They talk the language of the streets and that why the authorities are keen to silence them. After all would Tony and his cronies really want a band to come out talking about "robbing" and "clipping" when what it actually does is highlight the reasons that people turn to crime and violence. With the exception of the notorious Scat D incident all that So Solid have actually done is to open up the floor for debate. Perhaps the only reason the media has been quick to pounce on So Solid while laughing along to the likes of Liam Gallagher punching journalists or Eminem inciting sexist and homophobic violence is the colour of their skin. Any of you who are old enough will remember the uproar at Snoop Doggy Dogg entering the country a few years back to show how hypocritical the media are.

Like Asian Dub Foundation before them the So Solid Crew are the Real Great Britain. "They Don't Know" submerges itself in jungle beats, hip hop culture, a touch of soul music and spits it out in the unique So Solid sound. This really is the first essential UK Garage album and takes it a level above the watered down R&B of Craig David or the limp tracks filling up the charts on a regular basis. If "21 Seconds" was an introduction to the 30 strong crew then the recent singles "They Don't" and "Haterz" tackles the problems that come from success - the back biting from the media and the sycophantic parasites that come out of the woodword after a piece of the action. Much of "They Don't Know" deals with family and looking after each other which is something the press have chosen to look over and like all families its an un-penetratable unit that comes head and shoulders above everything else. It may seem out of place on an album so violent full of paranoia but on "Deeper" they push the boat out with the lyrics "on the scale of 1 to 10, Mum gets 10 - she's like one of the ravers!!!". As I said before don't take everything at face value as this album will contradict everything you believe in.

With the media trying harder than ever to push the Best New Band down you throat every week in the hope that one week they might just get it right. Lets be honest the media desperation is equivalent to a hardened gambler winning a bet on the basis that you put a £1 on every horse anyway. If you seriously believe that the Strokes, Starsailor or The White Stripes are the future of music you're either seriously deluded or on some hard-core drugs. It takes guts to out on the scene with something brand new and while there may be a dozen acts creating more ground breaking music that these guys you can't compete with them for the sheer size of it all. So Solid Crew are the first true 21st Century act we have to believe in and with half a dozen solo albums due to hit the shops next year So Solid are certainly around here for the long haul.

Alex McCann