Islington legend Benny Banks is back with his first project since 2017, and it feels just like the good old days again. 2020-21 was a comeback season for Benny, with songs like Tooth For a Tooth and Eye for an Eye really resonating with U.K. rap fans. As a fan, it was nice to hear Benny back in his bag both lyrically and musically with the beat selection for both of those songs. The depth of self-reflection, awareness, and how personal Benny chose to get was refreshing and meant anticipation for Burning Bridges was bubbling.
The project starts with a bang as the intro Burning Bridges featuring Violet May’s enchanting chorus sets the tone for the EP. The piano and saxophone lull you into a trance-like state before Benny follows through with his trademark punchy storytelling. Strong beats are a consistent theme of Burning Bridges, as Tony Hawk and Form is Temporary utilise drum patterns that are tailor-made for Benny’s flow. The lyrics are gritty, informative and lacking a filter, but the ever present honesty we’ve come to expect from Benny Banks is what makes us come back for more every time.
The only rap feature on the 5 track EP is from Jay Spades on Day in My Life as both Benny and Spades offer us a retrospective of their journey in a rap scene they played an important part in forming. The tape finishes with, in my opinion, the deepest track on the tape Take a Leaf as Benny’s one liners led to the song getting multiple rewinds.
Burning Bridges is a reminder of what’s been missing from the rap scene and we are so glad to have it back. Benny Banks delivered a top class project full of substance and lyricism, raising the bar and expectations higher than they’ve been for a long while.