It’s not easy being Brockhampton. The multi-everything, self styled rap “boy band” may have earned themselves a major label deal and plenty of attention, but kudos from their contemporaries hasn’t always been easy to come by. Add to that the recent allegations of abuse made against their mentor Shia LaBeouf and love isn’t always where it’s at for the moment.
It’s all you need though, says collective leader Kevin Abstract who’s claimed in the run up to Roadrunner – New Light, New Machine that he listened to The Beatles non-stop for four months (Abbey Road is even name checked on the Danny Brown led opener Buzzcut). Less about the experimental detours which have made Brockhampton’s music so interesting since their Saturation triptych, this latest episode – one that Abstract is claiming for now is the penultimate, with the final album coming later this year – is instead a collaboration-heavy unpacking of darker worlds both macro and personal.
Most affecting of all is Joba’s visceral exploration of his father’s suicide on The Light parts I & II. Whilst there are some neat pop flourishes on Count On Me and I’ll Take You On, the mood is often similarly bleak, the undertow one of uncertainty. It’s not easy being Brockhampton – so much so that they might not be that at all soon.
You can read a full review here.