dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip – Repent Replenish Repeat (Sunday Best)

Le Sac and Pip return, and they’re here to raise hell. Well, what did you expect?

Released Oct 7th, 2013 via Sunday Best / By Larry Day
dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip – Repent Replenish Repeat (Sunday Best) It's been far, far too long since dan le sac and Scroobius Pip last teamed up for an LP – approximately four years. This third full-length, entitled Repent Replenish Repeat, continues the sonic themes of its thoroughly divisive predecessor The Logic Of Chance, with le sac conjuring vast proto-dance chasms, a maelstrom of NIN industrial synths and a grim-but-clued-in look at UK electronic music. Pip unfurls his trademark vitriol – part grimy sermon, part deluded rant, part insightful wisdom – that continues to both baffle and alarm the press; many outlets weren't fans of the duo's debut and sophomore, despite noting obvious talent. Frankly, if you couldn't appreciate what they've been doing in the past, there's very little chance this will convert you, but if you're quite partial to a cup of le sac and Pip, then roll right on up.

Starting at the end, with finalé 'You Will See Me', the pairing eschew their trademark grit-hop beats for a post-rock/65daysofstatic-esque barrage of climactic, cinematic noises. Grandiose strings, vast synth throbs and an almighty surge of emotion from Pip make this the most atmospheric track they've done – it's definitely a 'colouring outside the lines' scenario. Pip is more akin to a beat poet or performance artist than a rapper here; yes, it's his suave gentrified vocab-cum-anarchic Essex boy mentality spiel, but this is more like the antihero's final speech in the denouement of a sci-fi classic than a mere song.

Other cuts are more standard hip-hop/dance fare. 'Stunner', with metallic percussion to rival the Olympic Opening Ceremony, is full of echoes and galactic ray-gun blasts. It's a furious British kind of nu-metal, like Dizzee Rascal rapping over a Marilyn Manson backing track; surprisingly, this combination is not half as bad as you'd expect. 'Heroism', with dark, brutish West Coast synths and lethargic to the point of delirious vox from Pip, is a strange effort that oozes a truer hip-hop vibe than much of the LP. The Flux Pavilion-featuring 'Gold Teeth' is big popstep aimed squarely on dancefloors – chunky beats, throbbing bass and squealing hooks all scream Top 40.

Obviously, one of the main appeals of dan le sac and Scroobius Pip is the activist, moral lyrics. Some may decry the pretentiousness, others love the honesty – regardless of your stance, it's hard to miss that the lyrics are perhaps the most vital element of their music. On 'Porter', Pip unleashes a tirade about mental illness, and on the aforementioned 'Gold Teeth', he vents about consumer culture. The most interesting one however is Pip's “last political song” (let's wait and see on that one...), featuring Itch of the now-defunct King Blues. It's punk-hop, with serrated drums and grinding guitars laying the foundations for soapbox bombast – there's heaps of fight, not an irked apathy, and its chorus is violently infectious: “Fuck stiff upper lip/ pick up a brick/ and if the crime fits/ fucking do something with it.” Gruesome stuff.

Repent Replenish Repeat does try to do some new things, whilst adhering to le sac and Pip's signature style. It's a helluva lot darker, and the twosome continue to attack various elements of people and society with emotional and poetic heft. It's a somewhat different facet from the duo that will satiate the cult following like a bloody chop thrown to rabid hounds; if you haven't liked their prior albums, this won't change your mind – but in all honesty, what were you expecting from them? It will be just as debated by critics and fans as the previous two records; again, dan le sac and Scroobius Pip have stirred commotion, which, to be honest, seems like an m.o. that's been pretty bloody successful during the course of their career. It doesn't matter whether the music is good or not at this point – people will still talk about it, argue about it and fight about it.