A year after Young Fathers won the Mercury Prize with their debut studio album Dead, the Scotland-based trio is back with their second album, White Men Are Black Men Too. For them, racism is an issue to address rather than avoid.
"We living life like a bubble wrapped ape," they sing in Old Rock n Roll, a blatant rejection of categorising people by colour. Their music rejects categorisation, too. The songs are genre-defying, a jumble of instrumentation that's raw and dynamic.
The album is a thrill to listen to, starting with Still Running, an angry, mid-tempo piece peppered with wailing guitars. Shame comes next, with a bouncy beat and cheeky melody.
A pulsing drum kicks off Get Started, but after the trio declare that "my soul is malnourished", they erupt into hysterical laughter. Suddenly, the tension's gone, and it's just a piano riff.
It's so unpredictable that at times the music sounds like a mess. On closer listen, though, you appreciate that each track is woven with rich layers of emotion and musical texture. This album is intense, unsettling, and liberating, all at the same time.
Contains strong language