Scroobius Pip - Distraction Pieces (Speech Development)

Solo record from Scroobius Pip packs quite a punch

Released Oct 3rd, 2011 via Speech Development / By Mark Beckett
Scroobius Pip - Distraction Pieces (Speech Development) Without sidekick Dan Le Sac, Scroobius Pip has left behind the glitchy Casio keyboard sounds and replaced them with a raw punk feel that intensifies an already fiery lyricist to popping point. As England loses its mind, Pip's pen gets hotter and hotter. Targets: Bedroom dwellers, survival obsessors, bloggers and the mindless in general. If named, close ears.

Distraction Pieces is not all clenched fists and object throwing, it manages to encapsulate a negative event in its entirety. The first half of the album is the adrenaline fueled 'in the moment' stage, whilst the second half channels the anger more productively and ends sombre and reflective as if the moment has passed and is to be learned from.

Intent is signaled from the off with 'Introdiction', an all-encompasing rant backed up by dark guitars and ghoulish howls. Any doubt regarding Pip's fortitude is settled by lines like "you see a mouse trap, I see free cheese and a fucking challenge". Game on.

'Let em Come', provides no let up with its eardrum battering chorus, which isn't appeased by the fuzz-ridden bass of the Richard Russell (XL) produced 'Try Dying' and the fierce tremolo guitar on 'Domestic Silence'. The latter is a tale about someone confined to their house and their mundane ways, It's the most overt example of a recurring theme about not getting stuck in a rut and staying focused. Its lyric "umbrellas keep out sunshine as well as rain" hints at the same acceptance of rough and smooth as "turns out hell does have a bottom and heaven a ceiling" on penultimate track 'Broken Promise', two reminders that beneath all the rumbling drums and distorted guitars, Pip is still just a great poet.

'Broken Promise' is the albums lyrical conclusion. Pip's cascading delivery suggests the words pouring forth are ones that have spent too long inside his trucker cap, occasionsly hanging onto them as if unsure whether to let them go. His delivery is clever and emotive throughout, his intonation adding extra value to each line. On this track he fluctuates between confused ramblings and the more succinct, "always just hunting for that near life experience, in fear of missing something vital from your own existence".

To make up a duo of solemn closing tracks, Pip covers Kate Bush's 'Feel It', echoing the words sung by Natasha Fox in his archetypal spoken word style. It gives the album a very haunting end and though it doesn't add any extra lyrics from Pip himself, the mood is in keeping with the previous tracks.

On 'Death of the Journalist' he curates the modern circulation of information, the way we consume journalism, through blogs and personal websites. This is an interesting debate which he goes on to explain is unsettling in his mind given that he is releasing an album, which obviously needs as much exposure as possible and critical acclaim certainly won't harm its sales. So whether it is beneficial to the success of Scroobius Pip or not, it has to be said Distraction Pieces is a brilliant album, just don't post a blog about it or you'll make him angry.