What’s the best way to compete with your mates; the people that you hang out with, that you respect and look up to? You step up your game and release an album that pushes you up higher than you’ve ever been before. This is exactly what Spit Syndicate have done with their fourth album, One Good Shirt Got Us All Fly.

The title reflects the duo’s cheekiness and aesthetic perfectly. Jimmy Nice and Nick Lupi have translated their dynamic membership as part of party posse, One Day, into an album that maintains the precise balance between party and politics.

There are so many examples of flawless perfection on this album. The production of the beats is completely supervised by the duo, meshing with the expert rhyming and lyricism better than ever before.

Returning collaborative producer Styalz Fuego adds a layer of polish to roughly half of the record, but doesn’t go so far as to remove the rawness that we know Spit Syndicate for – rather enhancing it. Mates Adit (Horrorshow), Freddy Crabs (Sticky Fingers) and Jono Graham (Left) jumped in to produce the remaining tracks.

Spit Syndicate invited a bunch of their friends onto the album to add a bit of flare and spice. Hip hop legends and good friends of the duo One Day – Horrorshow, Joyride and Jackie Onassis – jump on board to add their unique touch. In addition, combine input from Remi (Houdini), Thelma Plum (Darling St.), Radical Son (Not In My Name) and more, a truly special, and well-rounded album emerges.

Nice and Lupi’s differing styles meld together to achieve their joint vision of the album; an unusual balance that’s achieved with grace and dignity. Hold On Me is the song that you wished you’d written about someone you care about.

Mum shows off a personal side that weaves the disparate stories from each member together into a blossoming ode to relatable maternal figures. 665 reveals the inner demons that we all live with – “I’m only one away. I could go either way.

From the sugary sweetness of All Eyes to the seriousness and solemnity of Not In My Name, there’s a feeling that Spit Syndicate has placed a lot of love, time, thought and commitment into their album. Suddenly, the four years between albums is explained.

In their most honest and polished album yet, Spit Syndicate shift gear as they have before – but this time they aren’t looking back.

4.5/5

Spit Syndicate – One Good Shirt Had Us All Fly

Released: 14 April, 2017 via Inertia