English rockers Cornershop have been going strong for close to twenty years now, and with their seventh release they don't give any indication that they have plans to slow down. After collaborating from artists ranging from poet Alan Ginsberg to Oasis' Noam Gallagher, it's easy to wonder where a band will go next. On their latest release, Cornershop & the Double 'O' Groove Of, Cornershop continues to bend musical boundaries and blend genres to create a unique and intriguing, if not impossible to understand, record.
Though the album has its definite hip-hop influences, it would be a mistake to pigeonhole it as such. It's really difficult to give this album any sort of concrete description — which is part of what makes it so enjoyable.
The album features Bubbley Kaur, who last collaborated with Cornershop on their 2009 track "Topknot," on vocals for every track. Though she doesn't have much of a name for herself beyond her work with Cornershop, her voice adds a new layer to Cornershop's music that they lacked before. On previous albums their sound leaned more toward "rock with a sitar," whereas Double 'O' Groove Of draws much more heavily on Indian and Southeast Asian influences.
"The 911 Curry" draws the most on Asian influences, while single "United Provinces of India" best combines the pieces of pop-rock, hip-hop and bhangra music that are scattered throughout the album.
Double 'O' Groove Of is a testimony to the fact that music is a universal language. You probably won't understand a single word that Kaur sings, but it won't keep some of the melodies from worming their ways into the back of your brain.
It doesn't look like Cornershop currently has any plans to tour the US, but Cornershop & the Double 'O' Groove Of drops this Tuesday, March 15, on Ample Play Records.