Dirty Hit are a record label best known for their alt-rock success stories - The 1975, Wolf Alice and more recently Pale Waves. So it may come as a surprise that their latest act sounds closer to slowthai or Ho99o9 than their chart-busting label mates.
On debut EP ‘Guild One’ though, all the signs suggest 404 could go on to greatness. The London hip hop outfit, comprising Bathwater, Silvertongue, Eliot, Devenny and Sonny, showcase a broad, hook-laden sound across the EP’s six tracks. ‘Boost’ kicks things off in a boisterous manner, as a host of male voices spit pristine rap verses over a bass-and-drums loop, before the sinister trap beat of ‘Fearful’ marks a menacing point highpoint, as a refrain of “see it, say it, sorted” recurs ominously. ‘Wretching’ then segues towards the softer, R&B-tinged slow jams which make up the second half of the EP. Soft cuts of clean guitar and minimal, woody beats define the later tracks, with ‘Coma Breath’ provides a tender close, as a melodic female vocal yearns “you could take all the pain away, you could make this game real”.
Delivered with conviction and underscored by pristine production, 404’s biggest talent is that the songs here sound commercial without pandering to any radio-friendly sentiment. It’s a sign of integrity that is sure to serve them well.