Dark Tower: The Dark World
By Gareth Shute
Dark Tower have always been the outsiders of the local hip hop scene. Jody Lloyd and Eli Foley have made it their mission to create a distinctly local hip hop sound, unmarred by American accents or other imported influences - an approach which has started to gain the duo some interest in the Australian hip hop scene. However, it was this steadfastness in attitude that initially distanced Dark Tower from other locals rappers and Lloyd's outspoken nature has had the group burning bridges left, right, and centre over the years. More than a decade from their first release, the pair have returned with another out-of-nowhere effort and it is certainly the most successful work that Dark Tower have put out, with the blues guitar, crackling beats, and samples meshing more coherently than on previous releases. On the downside, some tracks are overly long, with the beats slowly turning from fresh to tired as the track extends beyond its natural length. The political nature of the lyrics is another mixed blessing - it is great to hear local rap taking on wider subject matter, but the constant lashing out gives the album a vitriolic, negative vibe. Nonetheless, if you want to hear a range of politically-minded raps delivered in a Kiwi accent then there is simply no other game in town.