Itch – Manifesto Pt 2: We’re All in the Gutter (EP Review)

After the release of his first solo EP following the split up of The King Blues, called Manifesto Pt 1, the first question on many people’s lips was “Where’s Pt 2?” Most people asked this before even giving Pt 1 a listen. Typical in the twenty first century for the people to be more concerned with the pursuit of content that doesn’t exist rather than the enjoyment of the content they have at their fingertips.

Immediately Pt 2 has a sense of urgency about it. The music lays down the fuse and the lyrics burn it up, the collaboration of the two promising an explosive climax. The track feels like it is constantly accelerating, finally breaking the sound barrier with a sonic boom of a drop introducing a chorus that makes good upon the promise the verse lays out.

Stylistically inventive the music feels more electronic, more traditional hip-hop than the punk of the King Blues, but the one thing Itch has held on to is the rage. His lyrics are attack rap, shouted and screamed, they seethe aggression as percussion beats at a moderate but deliberate pace; the drums crash with a thud, every impact is significant, they put an exclamation mark after every word.

Some of the lyrics feel slightly too familiar, some of the hooks feel a little recycled, so this can’t exactly be described as a clean break from his former band, but I’m not sure that was the point. This is a more Itch centric version of the music he’s been playing for the last ten years, 100% pure Itch without the diluting effects of the other band members. Whether this will be a smart move for him or whether someone should have stuck him on a leash remains to be seen. We’ll probably need a full release to be sure but as of right now, his inventive lyrics and forceful beats provide a promising start.