“Syer is back spread the word”! Yep, May 17th sees the long awaited return of Syer, the former Roll Deep and O.T. Crew mic man and producer, with his perfectly titled “A.W.O.L” EP.
Having been absent for around 7 years now, it was always going to be interesting to hear how someone like Syer would sound if they decided to jump back on music. Would they be able to hold it down like they did before? Does their new material add to their back catalogue, or does it just feel like a pointless trip down Memory Lane? Well, with previews up now for A.W.O.L., you can make your own mind up on that, and I’ve given my view below.
The most apparent thing with this EP is that Syer hasn’t diluted down his lyrics. If you rated Syer’s original flows and bars, then I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with “A.W.O.L.”, every track sounds like a lesson in rhyming, each verse is crafted to perfection, and Syer’s delivery is just as flawless.
Whether Syer has improved as an MC is still debatable at the moment, but “A.W.O.L.” definitely dismisses any fears that he may have fallen off lyrically.
Honestly speaking, it doesn’t really sound like Syer’s been away, but this could also be down to the fact that Syer, for me, was always years ahead of his time. Whereas some people come back and sound like relics from the old skool days, others return and sound just as relevant as when they left, and that’s very much the case with Syer.
As for the beats, all four tracks on “A.W.O.L.” are self-produced, and they all bring something a bit different to the table. “Be Concerned” has a tiny bit of Dubstep in its DNA, “Chosen” and “Original Flow” are strictly Grime, and “My Zone” is Grime/Trap hybrid.
So all in all, this is a really assured comeback from Syer, and hopefully the first of many new projects. As somebody that set the bar so highly first time round, Syer will most likely always be judged against his earlier work, but to quote the man himself, “I don’t care what I did, it’s all about what I do”…