THE DAMN STRAIGHTS: who they? I hear you say.

Well, as if proving gestalt theory – if you’ll allow me to don my professor specs a sec, that a transactional whole is indeed more than the sum of its parts – it’s a two-handed, transatlantic collaboration between Exeter’s Adam Gibbons, aka the connoisseur’s modern soul connoisseur, Lack of Afro; and Maryland rhymer Herbal T – excellent artists in their own right (and as a born and bred native of the South West, I have to reserve regional bias and point you in particular direction of Lack of Afro, who’s timeless, classic soul chops are really, really something).

But as they proved with their first drop back in November, the punk-hop of “The World’s On Fire (Let It Burn)”, this is no backslappin’ side project; they got a clutch of tunes; and they’ve got angry.

“Blow It Up” is full of fire and spunk and grrrr and explodes in your face for a whole one minute fifty-eight of pogo-tastic lyrical riffin’. Herbal T wrapping his tongue around his exposition over guitars with lethal crrrrunch.

It’s a project which, Adam reveals, has been a long time cookin’: “Around four years ago we travelled to NYC and recorded a load of tracks at Studio G in Brooklyn,” he says.

“Four years later, after other projects, having kids and worldwide pandemics got in the way, we’re finally good to go!”

They give it to you damn straight. Sometimes there’s no need for conceptual architecture around a piece of music; sometimes you just need a track that hits you in the brain and the hips and blows it wide … frickin’ … open.

The four-track Damn Straights EP arrives next month. Tie everything down and be ready for the ride.

Follow The Damn Straights on Twitter; pre-save “Blow It Up” on your preferred music provider, here and also over at Bandcamp.