Abrasive, uncompromising, unapologetic. These are just a few of the traits that cross the mind less than just sixty seconds into the start of ‘Sounds Of The Street’ with the ineffably gut-wrenching lead single ‘Angry Waves’. And just like that the tone has been set, the bar is promptly raised to rest casually on the production duo of Where It’s ATT’s shoulders somewhere between antics the likes of genre-predecessors Malaa and the nightmarish Drezo.
It’s throughout the 8-course offering that we pick up on a multitude of these inspirations, especially evident of which come in the form of the Jacknife-esque rolling bass lines of ‘Act Like That’ and the Golden Features-evoking FM stabs of album surprise favourite ‘Brands’. None of these sounds amount to anything without some seriously top-notch engineer work though, for which we can safely say isn’t so much as a passing concern here. Tight kicks punch through the mids, snares crunch and sizzle in the mid-to-highs, and most of all bass patches fill the stereo space without losing any tightness in the sub. It’s a winning recipe of such complimentary instrumentation that you’d be hard-pressed to learn that this is their full-length debut.
Where the album does starts to trip up though is twofold in its vocality, both figuratively and literally. Each track is almost seemingly randomly permeated by anything from a somewhat detached, pitched down spoken-word style, to random generic one-shots that seem ripped straight from a free Vengeance rom-sampler, to even flat-out raps with a lyricism that almost feels fundamentally at odds with the heft of the cinematic landscapes of which they attempt to compliment. Elements are chosen at random without any tangible philosophy as to why they’re being implemented and whilst not outrageously egregious had this been an anthological track listing largely in and of itself about partying, thematically it all just seems at odds with itself given the decidedly serious way it is marketed in taking itself. At best its a disparity merely distracting from the professional polish of each track, but at worst forgettably fumbles the initial gravitas of what should have ultimately been like all good debuts – an opportunity to help us learn more about the artists behind their craft.
Fortunately, though, this does shine a light on what is perhaps the duo’s greatest strength – a ridiculous work ethic. Made all the more obvious by the sheer volume of their persistent media strategy with a finger in just about every platform, Where It’s ATT have created an impressive social presence so undeniable that you’re bound to hear about them whether you already know them or not. Artistic growing pains aside, it’s an approach made all the more respectable by the fact that Sounds Of The Street is a completely independent release and is nothing if not completely authentic in its altruistic desire to just provide some good music. It’s an infectious facet of the boys’ career thus far that once snowballed into the creative process will elevate the boys to a level of threat much more in tandem with their tracks – absolutely devastating.