Some of the best works of art are crafted from the bitterness of a break up. Heartbreak was the muse for Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which is now seen as a milestone in rap music. Ryan Adams’ whiskey drenched nightmare of Heartbreaker conjures up so much remorse that it could have a Napalm Death fan in a flood of tears. dan le sac vs Scroobius Pip’s new record Repent Replenish Repeat is no different. After their second album The Logic of Chance, the duo spent some time apart to pursue their solo careers and with this savage return, they have proved that they are back, and in fine form.
The previously released ‘Stunner’ was our first glimpse into the album and serves as a great opening track, showing a departure from their earlier sound and embracing their darker side. Pip venomously describes the aftermath a bad break-up with some of his most aggressive lyrics to date, with such lines as “It seems the light at the end of the tunnel was a fire, now I’m choking on the smoke in my lungs”.
‘Terminal’ is a more sombre affair, with Pip describing his first experience on ecstasy with an unknown girl, including the ups and downs of the night, some interesting characters such as Skag’ead Bobby – nice name, right? – and a trip to McDonald’s for Happy Meals. The song slowly progresses and builds as the stories of the night’s antics unfurl, until it reaches its peak and you are submerged in a wash of euphoria and emotion, before it slowly fades like the hazy memory of a vivid dream. The track is very reminiscent of ‘Magician’s Assistant’ from DLS vs SP’s debut album Angles, but in the best kind of way.
‘Porter’ sees Pip working in a psychiatric hospital and considering the mental condition of three patients – Alice, Dorothy and Wendy – who reject reality and substitute their own. The three each seem to live in a fantasy world that they’ve created in their mind, with Pip taking the stance of an outsider looking in and pondering the instability of their condition and how it’s “weird to think each one is someone’s daughter”. The track takes an alternative view on the lives lived by these characters and puts a somewhat cynical spin on the perception of their stories.
The album’s closing track ‘You Will See Me’ is a bitter open letter to a former partner to bookend the aftermath of a messy break up, with dan le sac’s instrumentation beginning sparsely, allowing room for Pip to reminisce. Pip begins thinking rationally and delivering his lines calmly, steadily growing more aggressive as emotion takes hold, until the drums drop in and he is overcome with anguish and found shouting lines such as “I will destroy everything you hold dear”.
It seems that taking some time apart has allowed dan le sac and Scroobius Pip to take a step back and refocus, resulting in an album that delivers so much more than expected and despite heading in a slightly new direction, feels just like a matured version of the duo’s much loved debut.
Repent Repeat Replenish is available now from iTunes.