Plan B – ill Manors
It can be difficult for such a critically acclaimed artist to maintain momentum, especially when there are infinitely more similar artists you’ll at least entertain the idea of falling for. This fearless crossover, then, should be applauded. Plan B – real name Ben Drew – softens his teeth-smashing edges and splices noisy aggravation with heel-dragging melodies in latest album ill Manors.
Released on 23rd July, ill Manors features a gaggle of special guest vocalists ranging from singer-songwriter Kano, to punk-poet John Cooper-Clarke. Kano’s schmaltz off-sets the sinister club vibes of Live Once, but ultimately it’s the presence of Cooper-Clarke on Pity The Plight that sums ill Manors up best. It’s an album flowing with ideas, but with Drew’s voice the only constant, it lacks consistency.
Lost My Way is muggy and consuming. As the vocals take the foreground, it offers light amongst the shading swirling background that surrounds them. As Drew spits “If you don’t believe in something then you’ll fall for anything,” it couldn’t be clearer that this album is here to make a mark. Lost My Way is bound to be nothing short of impressive live; however it feels disappointingly uninspired.
The mania to Drew’s vocals and darkness to his candid lyrics make this new LP quite difficult to welcome in. Grand and grizzling, ill Manors begs for adoration, but its grinding nihilism too often leaves an uncomfortable aftertaste.
Standout Track – Pity The Plight
Watch the video of ill Manors here: