It must be a couple of years now since Taskforce released the best EP yet made by any UK hip hop act, “The Voice of the Great Outdoors” on Lowlife. It was goofy, palsied hip hop set in wacky stoner countryside and outer space. The new single, “Fugs R Us” is smack in the heart of the city, and it’s Taskforce’s stab at the current Holy Grail of UKHH: the Club Banger. There seems to be a feeling that UK artists have the mellow head nodder sussed now, that the next leap forward (in profile and – crucially – sales) will be via the clubs.

Which clubs constitute ‘the clubs’, I don’t know but I guess the record succeeds up to a point: you’d probably nod if you heard it played loud. It’s big, glaring and heavy but it’s nowhere near their best. Despite funny lines throughout, it doesn’t sustain itself and ends up plodding rather than punching, what a shame.

I don’t know about them being thugs, either: “What you looking at? I’ll snatch your granny’s bag” doesn’t strike me with fear. Just in case anyone takes the hard talk (or the gunshots) seriously, the cover is film style and the song is subtitled “Is It Real?” I bet they’d be sly in a fight, but Taskforce are at their best when they make a noise which sounds more like the mildly unhinged product of too many nights indoors. They’re going to make an unbelievably good record anytime now.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for something to download, try “Cosmic Gypsies” (mentalcase rustbucket sci fi), “Butterfly Concerto” (stoner leaves the sofa) or their contribution to the Braintax LP, “Godnose”.