Savage Attack

bostonglobe

7L & Esoteric have been grinding in Boston for over a decade.  Inspectah Deck is a player in the most powerful hip hop crew of all time.  It’s only fitting they get together and blast off.  While fashion and frenetic trap beats may be dominating the popular conscience, hip hop fans aren’t waiting for “the return of boom bap” because it never left.  Czarface is gritty affair that captures a timeless sense of history without rubbing your nose in a pile of golden era bullshit.  It’s the simple science of beats and rhymes.

Czarface’s 14 tracks are rock solid east-coast blueprints.  7L (with help from Spada4 and DJ Premier) is in top form, making sure you hear every snare and cymbal crash.  Guest spots from Roc Marciano, Mr. MFN eXquire and Action Bronson will keep the kids table quiet at dinner time, but it’s the grown man wordplay between Esoteric and the Rebel INS that carries the real weight.

The concept is as obvious as the cover art.  Assemble then target the evil and tear it down.  You can decide for yourself who’s in the cross hairs.

Stoned and Starving

unpianomusic.com

Pavement made me realize you can pack a punch and not give a single, solitary fuck.  There’s been plenty of attempts since, but few bands have managed to capture that delicious slackology with the same vigor.  Vampire Weekend care too much for alligator shirt patches and The Joggers angular ADD made them a hard sell, but Parquet Courts seem to have found that potent blend of toe-tappish cool and sure fire Brooklyn apathy.  Light Up Gold is a fantastic example of what comes from being stoned, bored and proficient with a pad and pen.

Much like San Diego’s Soft Pack, Parquet Courts rely on the beauty of simplicity.  Gutsy guitar parts tangle and weave from track to track but never wander into master territory.  Instead, the feedback rings, triggering that nostalgic feeling of 1994.  Lyrically, I’m reminded of poets like Jim Carroll… see “Master Of My Craft” for a lesson in diction and syntax.  Their stripped down three and a half minute assault presses all the right buttons.  Light Up Gold sounds as if we’re listening to a writer’s stream of consciousness, it’s simultaneously familiar and strangely disjointed.

The record is a blast, so shout it out or let it go.  Parquet Courts just couldn’t care less.

 

 

Along For The Ride

It’s been five long, strange years since The Bronx put out a record, yet somehow these noisy west coast bastards haven’t changed a bit.  Sure there have been two stellar mariachi records under the Mariachi El Bronx moniker between proper releases, but that’s not the same.  This band plays the sort of music that makes me crave cigarettes and whiskey.  The end result is often a black eye or smashed glasses.  Catching The Bronx destroy a venue is one the most underrated spectacles music has to offer today.

As I sit here with The Bronx (4) at a deafening level, it’s clear why their music is so much fun.  It’s not hardcore enough for face bandanas and gang violence, yet it’s never going to be friendly enough to crack the top 40 charts either.  Like previous efforts, there’s a sinister edge to this record balanced by a sleazy Hollywood boulevard feel.  That shift hasn’t forsaken a single sentiment of what built their brand.  Noticeable this time around is the attention to songwriting.  There’s odd melody creeping around on songs like, “Torches” and “Life Less Ordinary”, and creep it certainly does.

There are no frills to speak of on The Bronx (4).  No nonsense.  Zero bullshit.   They just plug in a play, their freak-flags dangling from dirty back pockets for everyone to see.

Rap Game Ryan Adams

2dopeboyz.com

In the early 2000’s, New York singer/songwriter Ryan Adams was dropping records like he was terminally ill.  I was always amazed by the quality of his quantity.  I feel the exact same way about Curren$y.  I honestly don’t think there’s a harder working rapper in the game than Spitta Andretti.  His projects are timely, polished and creep with such blatant familiarity that you can’t mistake them.

This week saw the release of New Jet City, his first release of 2013.  Confidence has never been a problem for Spitta, but nowadays it’s actually oozing from the speakers.  There are very few rappers that can ride a beat like this.  “Sixteen Switches Part 2” and “Living For The City” are classic Curren$y.  They’re spacey, dense and almost demand you put something in the air.

Admittedly, I used to believe his music was simply crafted for smoke sessions, but it’s not just weed rap.  Deducing a sound this complex to such commonality is criminal.   There’s an entire culture bouncing down city streets in cars of all makes and models pledging allegiance to the mighty Jet Life General.

Grab this one at http://www.datpiff.com.  Enjoy.