This came out a while back, and we steered clear of an album featuring a rapper we never heard of and a man from a second division indie band. This is Interpol’s Paul Banks, who’s joined together with Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA (we’re not sure where the Steelz comes from, hence our ignorance) for an album that combines, well, rap and indie.
It’s an hour or so long and every song has the same shtik: Steelz provides the rapping, at times like he’s holding his breath and going red, while Bankz supplies a radio-friendly indie chorus. Kool Keith, Ghostface Killah and Florence Welch provide guest vocals.
The target audience can only be white men who like a bit of indie and a bit of hip hop (and don’t have young children — there’s a lot of swearing) and on one level it’s all a bit pointless. But as anyone who’s been to the gym when the crowd is mostly middle class white boys knows, hip hop is very popular with that demographic and that’s what this is: an album to play down the gym. Its metronomic beats make it ideal for sticking to a tempo, and the uniformity of the tracks means your brain can tune in and out, and you won’t miss anything. It’s all well put together and quite good fun. A harmless diversion.
Buy, don’t Steelz: