Elliot Fresh – Dunce Hats – EP review

Dunce Hats cover art

Elliot Fresh has a reputation built for being somewhat the more perceptive part of Oxfordshire/London based rap group Edelweiss Pirates, which name literally translates from an nonconformist group of youths in Nazi Germany called ‘Edelweißpiraten’ that initially opposed and disrupted Hitler Youth programmes. For 2014 he has followed his annual string of solo and collaborated releases primarily dropped from IllGotIt Records with a typically short 4 tracked taster EP – “Dunce Hats” – with the Boom Bap Professionals. Released on January 9th on a free or ‘name your price’ basis, the album features production ranging from Mexico’s Harry Caine to Mancunian based producer Fish.

The soft beat commenced and the high spirited element was soon apparent. With a habitually charismatic approach he spits through the Dunce Hats verses without any intentional seriousness. The subsequent track Gruntled has an jazzy instrumental which ultimately dominates the keys, only enhancing the pessimistic lyrics. He takes point to push personal philosophies into his verses however seems to not entirely satisfy the messages that are put across. The track is featured again but with production from Fish before the track instrumentals begin. The darker undertones he produces undoubtedly suit the bars far better thematically. Prior to Fish’s remix however is Laminated Souls, where Elliot takes to the chorus through singing and generally follows through with a jokey flow whilst denouncing faked social imagery and egotism.

Overall the production is to be most celebrated, but the content of the EP was never meant to be groundbreaking. At least we know that Elliot Smith is still alive and kicking. To get a better impression of his talents be sure to check out his 2012 release ‘Now…..‘ as well as his work with the Edelweiss Pirates in the album ‘Parlay‘.  Have a listen to ‘Dunce Hats’ for yourself regardless; the least I can vouch is that it’s ultimately ten minutes of mischievous bars and relaxing instrumentals that won’t leave you feeling entirely robbed of your time. As a free/name your price download, what have you really got to lose?


About shandysmokepizzeria

I study and write about music. Numerous reviews, interviews and features can be found via my blog ShandySmokePizzeria: https://shandysmokepizzeria.wordpress.com.
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