Somojo Magazine

The Ironweed Project

The Ironweed Project new studio album These Chains Aint Gonna Hold Me

The Ironweed Project is the brainchild of renowned writer,producer and vocalist, Aniff Akinola, founding member of cult manc hip-hop outfit ‘Chapter and the Verse’, co-writer of a Guy Called Gerald’s classic house anthem ‘Voodoo Ray’, co-writer of Kirsty MacColl’s hit ‘Walking Down Madison’ and general coconspirator of such 90’s electronic luminaries as The Orb, Steve Hillage and The Beloved also co writer of Ian Browns "Set my baby free" and one half of Backyard Dog whom wrote the top 20 hit "Baddest Ruffest" which went on to become the Coca Cola World Cup theme and feature in Ali Gs "In The House" and "Bend It Like Beckham .


The Ironweed Project latest offering is a 12 track album called “These Chains Ain’t Gonna Hold Me”. this piece of work nestles comfortably in the company of London Elektricity, Black Keys and Plan B. Playing the alchemist as Aniff sometimes likes to describe himself he has managed to do the trick of creating a Hadron Collider like fusion between the Blues ,Drum n Bass , Rock, Hip Hop and Dubstep.

It seems that the African saying. “ in order for us to go forward we must first look back” Was used as the blueprint for the making of this album. The first track The Whole Worlds On Fire wears its Green credentials with pride laying down a hip hop carbon foot print that would keep even Al Gore happy. Following on is the Otis Redding meets Hawaii Five big beats She’ Got Me Working. Aniff has never been shy of wearing his politics on his sleeve so beware of the virulent tirade of abuse aimed at city merchant bankers and short sellers in the acidic funk workout called Fat City with the immortal line “selling off your futures, if it isn't gold, doesn’t matter that you’ve given your life, and you’ve worked it to the bone” .

I Just Like It is the song BB King, Prince and the late Micheal Hutchence would have written if they were to have ever written a song together. The title track These Chains Ain't Gonna Hold Me from the opening Paul Robeson like vocal you are whisked back in time to those colonial plantations where heat and servitude were ones only companion ; yet the song keeps gnawing at those chains with ever more intensity until it breaks free liken to a full scale Haitian uprising.  Other stand out tracks include Making All Kinds Of Music which forces you to spell contemporary with a K Making All Kinds Of Music is a dubphonic mash of Hendricks and Dubstep with ever such a super sly Dylanesque 1966 Manchester Free trade Hall Judas wink. A Little Love is by far the strangest track where Aniff raps over a Crosstown Traffic like swing fueled backing but graced by what can only be described as the cutest schoolyard chorus , if ever there was a song for the Tv series Everybody Hates Chris this would be it .

This album doesn’t avoid it's responsibilities of paying its dues in full with full respect to the blues. So many tracks do that with such consummate ease there is no doubt that The Ironweed Project are amongst the pioneers whom will ensure the blues survives in the future.

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