Another day, another Afro pop club jam cover thingy. This #PunkGoesNaija thing is getting serious, sha. Anyway, Mac Roc, TBase and Luciano collaborate to bring us a Reggae Blues cover. And, it’s surprisingly cool. It actually manages to merge afro pop with rock and roll. Nice! The original was sung by Harrysong.
As usual, I didn’t know the song till I hit play. I was welcomed with an acoustic laced intro which was followed with a double bass post hardcore-like pseudo-breakdown section. Then the acoustic laced down tempo comes back as the first verse hits. Then the chorus comes again with a keyboard laced punk. then the second verse comes in and vocal duties switch and the tom toms are just keeping the funk up in the song. Then the closing part of the verse is closed with a slide across the fret of the guitar. Then another chorus and GUITAR SOLO!
ROCK AND ROLLLLLLL, MAAAAAAAANNN!!!
Sorry. Got carried away. Where was I? Oh yes. SOLO! And BOOM. The song is over.
Now, I will give these guys credit for one thing. It’s a bit difficult to find a fault in this cover. A little bit difficult.
What exactly is good about this cover? Well for one, the rock sections with the electric guitars are loud and proud. The bass is a bit hard to hear but it’s okay (AHA!! A FAULT!!! TAKE NOTE READERS!!). The keyboard layers were pretty well done. I like how Mac Roc actually managed to keep the Afro Beat vibe alive in the verses without it being an odd fit with the more rock oriented choruses. The one thing that managed to make this a reality is the use of the tom toms on the drum set. VERY GOOD IDEA. Honestly, it’s a pretty basic idea but he does it and does it well. I give him and his crew my respect for that. Then there’s the surprise guitar solo which incorporated a number of techniques that people even remotely versed in the instrument will recognize. I’m a sucker for solos. So, yeah. Huge plus. In addition, he manages to pull it off without it being an odd fit. This cover feels like a well planned project. A lot of things could have gone wrong with this. However, the flaws I expected to be present are not. The production isn’t crispy clean, but that just gave the distorted guitars more of that raw, rock and roll grit, know what I mean? (Just nod “yes” even if you don’t. Really, just nod. Your life depends on it. Just kidding. Maybe.)
Okay, I have to praise the drum work on this song again. I’ll probably praise it again before this article ends so, you’ve been warned.
The song structure is just so far from basic. It went into uncharted waters and didn’t sink in the storm. I give them props for that. A lot of props. The different vibes they managed to merge into this one song without it turning to a mess is pretty impressive. Now, it might sound like I’m saying the song is perfect. it’s not. No form of art is perfect. There’ll always be critics and haters. Unlike Maths where the numbers don’t lie and you can get a perfect score.
Remember that pseudo-breakdown intro I talked about. Well I said pseudo for a reason. It didn’t feel as post-hardcore as it could have. Maybe that’s a good thing but we’ll never know. I just wonder if there was a need to use double bass drumming in that intro if it wasn’t going to carry its way into the song. What a tease. Not cool Mac Roc. Not cool! You deceived me! If not for that wicked surprise solo, I’d be kicking your ass now!
I’m getting distracted again. Yo, people, just listen to the song. Those who don’t like rock might hate on the song small because it’s like he ruined the chorus that they loved to groove to and turned it to a rock and roll thing. Others that do like rock might feel the same. However, I say the song structure is genius and has shown that Nigerians can rock and roll and still get their groove on. I’m looking forward to an original song with this same vibe. That would just be perfect (Well, maybe not perfect, just really cool.)
Anyway, peace out, humans.