Vinnie & The Stars are set to release their new album ‘Punkological Business’ in March 2013. The hip-hop-blues band fronted by Craig “Vinnie” Whitehead, have returned with a great CD following their 2009 album ‘Swings & Roundabouts’. This new release is bound to please their legions of fans in err…Hull (and all around Yorkshire).
The opening track, ‘I’m Not From America…I’m From Hull’ kick-starts the album with a comedic touch and a tongue-in-cheek feel. Great observations of everyday life incorporated into his lyrics make this first song a suitable introduction, with a definite nod to The Streets’ Mike Skinner, thrown in for good measure.
Following this, is the edgy; ‘Don’t Blame Me’ which includes emotive words straight from a pure Yorkshire heart that compliment Whitehead’s gravelly vocals. Next comes a favourite song of ours ‘4 Or 5 Canner’, which again reflects Vinnie’s sense of humour and view of real, proper life experiences. ‘Paid Slave Blues’ brings a familiar blues riff to his hip-hop style, however his voice seems lost in this song and could be used more effectively, in our eyes.
Like the songs before, ‘How I’m Feeling’ packs a real punch – filled to the brim with wit and style. Believe it or not, in this track, there are hints of early David Bowie, while ‘Slow Life’ more than ever Vinnie’s established influences (Beck, Head Automatica and Rage Against The Machine) together in one decisive and tuneful Yorkshire beast of a track.
Meanwhile, ‘Nonsense’ completely changes the mood and tone while complimenting Vinnie’s voice with smooth riffs and a slight country twang, but still embodying a raw Yorkshire rap aesthetic that appeals to the everyday hardworking masses. This album promises more of the same smooth easy-listening with added acoustic songs to showcase the overall diversity of this band.
Yes, Vinnie’s voice may be a tad rough and his pure northern accent might not appeal to everyone, but you cannot help but listen to, and absorb from where he is writing. The lyrics edge on observational comedy, and there is a definite musical niche there. However, with the band’s cheeky beats and the right ears responding to them, there could/should be bigger stages on the horizon for this dedicated act.