90’s Grime Is Alive

Jersey via California via the dark corners of the underground.  So just where does Bloody Monk Consortium call home?  Hard to tell, but what’s obvious is the rugged heartbeat of this crew.  The west coast production comes from Lex Luger while NJ emcee LABAL-S and Cali’s Leeroy Destroy hold it down.  The end result is a haunting, no bullshit assault of any microphone in their path.

The crew’s latest release is the Dim Mak Mixtape released this past week.  The tape showcases Destroy and LABAL’s verbal battery over punishing beats.  At times the subject matter might shock you, but what’s most impressive is the word play.  The rhymes are smart, sharp and delivered with precision.   This crew has a deep respect for the RZA and his off-beat, unique take on the construction of a beat.  But Wu comparisons aside, Bloody Monk Consortium brings something brand new to the table.  Their relentless verbal attack demands your ear, before they bite it off.

Head to their bandcamp page and support these guys.  Independent music depends on us.  If you’re scared, go to church…you’ve been warned.

http://bloodymonkconsortium.bandcamp.com

Meet The Band

factmag.com

A while back I heard a few songs from a band called Tennis.  Then another Kills record.  This past week I got my hands on Reign of Terror, the newest mess from Sleigh Bells and I have to admit,  I was ready to jump ship on the duo.  All faith was lost in the one-two punch.  Since we’re all tired of me singing the praises of Hall & Oates (the greatest duo of ALL time), I’ll graciously thank London’s The Big Pink for (temporarily) restoring my faith.

Future This is a soaring, electric record with a sum much larger than its parts.  There’s the feeling of something massive and theatrical about The Big Pink, reminiscent of Muse.  The hooks are big and sweeping while the songs never threaten to get lost in the Bono/Chris Martin land of the cheese.

A few years of touring and writing filled the gaps between their terrific debut, A Brief History Of Love and Future This.  That time is nothing more than a testament to touring and honing the craft of songwriting before rushing into the studio to crank out “hits”.  A headphones rock record is something I haven’t had the pleasure of enjoying in a while.  Enjoy.

Hardest Working Man In Hip Hop?

hiphopdx.com

Currensy is the Ryan Adams of the rap game.  This dude should put out a piece of shit once in a while.  There should be something that’s just not worthy of a spin…but those of you who know, know.  This kid refuses to attach his name to a project that isn’t pure fire.

After the release of Here, a free EP that hit the web a few weeks ago, Spitta’s right back at it again with Muscle Car Chronicles. This nine song collection was cultivated last year at DD172, the NYC art collective who brought us 24 Karate School, Pilot Talk 1&2, and Blakroc (the hip hop /Black Keys collaboration).

Muscle Car Chronicles is not a rap/rock record.  This is not some half-assed crossover attempt aimed for moving units at the Hot Topic.  This is Currensy’s Hot Revolver.  It’s simply him doing his thing, as usual, over live instrumentation.  The record doesn’t slip for one second, proving once again that this New Orleans native just might be the best at it…

Reptilian By Nature

brightestyoungthings.com

I haven’t been to San Diego, but I have one of those tourists books that points me in the direction of all things worthy of spectacle.  Nowhere in that book is there a mention of Crocodiles, a band famous for releasing a record with my favorite title of 2009, Summer Of Hate.  They sound like the Cure with more expensive distortion pedals, or The Strokes if they were less concerned with hair styles and denim-jacket patches.

Crocodiles is the brain child of Brandon Welchez and Charles Rowell, of Some Girls and Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower fame.  Unsurprisingly, they cook up noisy little jams that are gloomy enough to make you wonder, yet clearly designed with the San Diego Bay sunshine in mind.  They released Sleep Forever in 2010 and this summer will bring us Endless Flowers, their first for NYC’s Frenchkiss Records.  Here’s a little taste from the new one…enjoy.

 

Me, Myself and First Serve

digitalspy.com

De La Soul have always done things a little differently than the hip hop masses.   Be it, slightly more accessible jams, the tendency to joke rather than curse or the lean towards positivity away from violence, this Long Island trio has never tight rope walked between genre’s.  They’re simply, classic.

Their next move is a bit of a head scratcher.  Plug 1 and 2 have transformed into “Jacob” and “Deen”, two would-be rap hopefuls crafting their beats and rhymes in the basement of moms house.  The vibe is all about tearing it down and building from scratch, something you rarely hear from legends in a rap game dominated by money and status.  De La Soul have nothing to prove, so I’m looking forward to First Serve’s debut hitting sometime in April.

“Must B The Music”, a recent single from the project is a light, bouncy track with a cartoony video full of costumes and props.  Again, not what you’d expect, but First Serve doesn’t really seemed concerned with preexisting notions or expectations.   They’re simply looking to start fresh, and fresh it most certainly is.

Gathering Steam

thrashhits.com

I started rambling about these lads a year or so ago.  Since then they’ve released some music and been on the road with the likes of Social D and Frank Turner etc etc.  I rarely post about the same band twice, partially because I don’t want to insult you and honestly, there’s too much going on in music…but I had to update what’s going on in Shark land.

First up on March 20th, No Gods via Rise Records.  Next, I assume a shit ton of touring.  I was blown away by their new single, “Arcane Effigies”.  It seems to me as if this band is hitting their stride in the studio.  They know how to write a song with a big, powerful chorus.  I said this before and I’ll say it again, hit the back button if this offends your purist sensibilities, these kids remind me of the Clash.  Yeah, I said it.  They’re not mighty, they’re not seasoned, they’re wet behind the ears, I know.  Trust me, I know.  But this band has a certain ethic and sound that makes me think of working class London. Lets face it, no one brought that to life like the Clash.

This one is a little more refined, the edges seemed smoothed.  It’s bloody good.  There’s a ton of promise here and nothing but time to get it right.  If they can work out the kinks live, they’re going to be dangerous.

Slumerican Dream

mixtapewire.com

What do British singer Ed Sheeran and Alabama MC Yelawolf have in common?  Not a god damn thing…that is until this week saw the release of Slumdon Bridge, a four-song collaborative EP that jumps all over the sonic map.  Sheeran sings the hooks (and raps a bit on the EP’s weakest moment) and Yela does what he does best…paint the speakers with his unique southern doom and gloom.

“London Bridge” is the EP’s strongest cut.  The five-minute confessional finds Yela penning the tale of a wayward man with one hand wrapped around the bottle and one foot in the grave.  There’s a terribly painful honesty in his delivery, a knack for cadence.  It seems to me that Yelawolf is going hard on each and every track.  Rookie status is distant memory.

As for Sheeran, he’s currently taking the UK by storm.  He’s nominated for best-new, best male, and best record at the Brits next week.  Somehow his gentle croon slides right into place alongside Yelawolf’s hiccuping punchlines.  The EP is free everywhere.  You can cop it at http://www.mixtapetorrent.com. I’m still wrapping my head around this one…