Album Review: Prince Fatty – In the Viper’s Shadow [October 2019]

This latest instalment from Prince Fatty boasts a full-length album deep in dub, packed with collaborations, that is characteristically catchy.

‘Two Timer’ featuring Cornell Campbell and Tippa Irie, the intro track, is classic, from the brilliant opening dub samples to the recognisable vocals of Tippa Irie. It’s smooth, relaxed, and ready. “We’re gunna drive the lizards out of here.”

The second track, ‘Get Ready’ featuring Big Youth and George Dekker, succeeds in sampling The Temptations and had me singing along with the chorus almost immediately.

Shniece McMenamin is featured on a couple of tracks, with her vocals providing a sweet swing in ‘Deep Sleep’ and pitching in political doom and gloom on the closing track ‘Trouble’, which also features Horseman.

‘Cassandra’ introduces Earl 16’s first feature on the album. The melancholic chords feel nostalgic, whilst the horns and rhythms are sure to be an irresistible body mover at performances.

Social and political sentiment aren’t found wanting in this album, with a powerful punch packed into ‘Everything Crash’, speaking of “global reasoning”, leaders of war, government and nuclear waste – all followed by beautifully dubbed vocals.

‘The Break’ featuring Winston Francis seems an apt name for this song, as the surfer-esque guitar chords, reminiscent of beach sides, with smooth chill vocals, provide a low-key, relaxed musical ‘break’.

Then back in business for an almighty feeling of faith in ‘Stepping Out of Babylon’ featuring Big Youth.

Throughout, it feels as though there are no watered-down tracks that sound all too familiar. Indeed, there are consistent beats keeping the groove upbeat. With so many lovely harmonies, or chord sections, or horn blasts, it makes you keep checking the name of the sweet song again and again.

Overall, a fabulous addition to an already very prolific archive.