Album Review: Merky Ace / ‘All or Nothing’ (No Hats No Hoods)

merky ace all or nothing


Merky Ace shows absolutely no hint of crossover potential. That’s good news — we don’t want the mainstream polluting and diluting London fire breathers that can name Baauer and Dizzee Rascal as two peers he’s blessed with his go hard or go home pile-drives. No half steppin’ as no breathless motormouth, Ace attacks with wave after wave of clear-swaggin’ one-upping, to some explosive charging of low ends and 808 chomps that low riders will struggle to shift to.

Then again, the slower the better; turning the screw gets speaker nuts and bolts loosened until they’ve shed their cones and spewed their innards. The potential of trap transfers mightily on “Eff Tizzy” and “Bang,” with the ghost of Nancy Sinatra eerily riding shotgun, strapping on insistent loops hollowed from hammer horror. Out of rallying against subtlety, “R.I.P.” is conspicuous for barging through as a drama bringer, and that’s before the frankly ridiculous churner “Know What It Is.”

“Wack” is the snapshot of pure UK fire. Rude Kid’s bassline whips round corners like a Waltzer, causing sparks as percussion jolts and bounces, while the title track unleashes one-liners of essential British humour caught in a synth big freeze (“starting a war with me ain’t wise/like wearing football boots on thin ice”). Though billed as a mixtape, it works on album terms: the running time means you can’t accuse Ace of rambling, who instead picks his spot as marksman in chief.

File under: P Money, B-Illa, Maxsta

Matt Oliver

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