The follow up in the Fire Bomb series, ‘Fire Bomb II‘ levels up in both the beats and the bars – which is pretty solid considering the quality of the first release. There is a maturity than can be heard in the quality of recording, the delivery and the variety of subject matter. But, the best thing about this is not just the progression and improvement, it’s the ability to continually sound fresh and on point and deliver music that is genuine and authentic and sits in the pocket that suits – big time boom bap with high energy and rough edges. Not to mention the pairing of Rov the Rebel and Silly Grinn is, to put it simply, pretty special.
The album kicks things off with ‘Pay Homage‘ and it’s an anthem, really setting the tone with it’s triumphant soundscape and Rov just crushing the mic and giving the listener a taste of what is on the way. Next up ‘Hitman Hearns‘ hits the headphones like Tommy hit heads, it’s hardbody and ferocious and the production has a really dope reverb / synth in it as well to provide an added element, then it’s ‘Evil Peace‘ which commands your attention, with a moodier, darker vibe and some pertinent street prose and Slant Heddshotts fits in seamlessly on this one.
‘Frontlines‘ gets the noggin nodding and this more traditional feeling boom bap track has a battle cry feel to it, but it’s ‘Game Over‘ that REALLY brings that big time, Army of the Pharoahs kind of vibe, and Celph Titled drops big time bars with his iconic baritone and Rov just feeds off this to spit his own verbal lava. ‘Madness‘ continues in the same pocket, big and bold, with bars that are hard and heavy, then ‘Face Melter‘ is exactly as the name implies and features Zeus and DJ Slipwax with back to back appearances on the wheels.
A welcomed change of pace ensues with ‘Price We Pay‘ which has a really funky twang to it, and the clarity of beat with sharp, punchy drums really lends itself in allowing the listener to really catch the bars from these emcees. The hook is smooth too and has hella feeling. ‘ROE II‘ sees Dew Moore share the street cinematic score, and the flow on this one is dark and robust whilst painting verbal pictures that stick in the mental. There is an understated energy on this one that draws you in and entertains.
‘POW‘ gets us right back into that hardcore, bully rap space with big time production that just resonates through the speakers as Rov and Silly play off each other with precision and passion. The second last joint ‘Vinyl Rhino‘ features Sha-Elemental & Dirt Rustle and the production evokes those 90’s computer game vibes – but blends those Slim Shady character vibes in between the gutteral bars. ‘Hoodfellaz‘ close out the project in much the same way as it started – energetic, fun, lively and vibrant boom bap hip hop with punchy bars delivered in style. It’s a perfect curtain call.
Bangers: Game Over, Hoodfellaz, Evil Peace, Vinyl Rhino, Pay Homage.
Score: 9 / 10. What a fantastic hip hop album. The production on this has a range of nuances and layers that make it more than just your traditional hardbody, boom bap joint. Then you add the bars from Rov and Grinn as well as the perfectly curated features and this is a really superb listen from start to finish. It has peaks and troughs as evidenced by the odd slower / softer track to allow you to catch your breath, but this really deserves to be in your rotation.