In "Air Mixer," which begins a three-song set late in the album that really shines, that element is a bit of chiming and bouncy strings, which are paired with moody synths as the beats get heavier. The protagonist of the song, the air mixer, is a fraud: "You can't juggle, you can't scratch, you jack all your beats and you don't write a rap." I haven't heard this term for a phony, but I like it. "You're like a lip syncher/You fake mother fucker." Then the track cuts out completely, like the end of the Sopranos.

"Tiki Torch," the album's single of sorts, follows with sitar-seeming guitar work and Kelly McKenna singing with a big-time voice. Drums and bass trade off sections as though in competition. Jeff Barrell gets off a nice verse riffing on the Pretenders: "Circadian rain again/Here come the hate again." It rolls out with congas and more McKenna croon.

Then we get "Anchored Boat," which has the nicest groove of the album and features Bread, who really doesn't ever do much wrong.

Personally, I'd have moved that little three-song suite a fair bit earlier, but I think there's a good chance most listeners will make it there. This album is ambitious, interesting, and assertive. At times it gets the heart beating fast. You won't find a sing-along, but you knew that going in.

Sam Pfeifle can be reached atsam_pfeifle@yahoo.com.

FITS & STARTS | Released by Trails |www.trailsounds.com

< prev  1  |  2  | 
  Topics: CD Reviews , Underground Hip-Hop, hip-hop, Mike Clouds,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY SAM PFEIFLE
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   SEVEN-MAN ARMY  |  July 24, 2014
    Lately, it’s been open season on “Wagon Wheel,” which has become the acoustic musician’s “Freebird,” one of the very few songs that people actually know well enough to find it funny to request.
  •   AMOS LIBBY'S FIVE WEEKS IN THE HEART OF THE CONFLICT  |  July 23, 2014
    "(Israeli) immigration asked me at the airport why I didn’t leave when I could have and I said it was because I felt safe. They told me I was nuts.”
  •   WHAT YOU SAY, RYAN?  |  July 16, 2014
    Ryan’s calling card is his sincerity. While the production and presentation are of a genre, you won’t find him talking about puffing the chron or dissing women or dropping a million f-bombs or using a bunch of contemporary rap jargon. He’s got a plan and he executes it, with more variety and modes of attack than he’s had on display to this point.
  •   BETTY CODY, 1921-2014  |  July 11, 2014
    The Maine music community lost a hidden giant last week with the death of Betty Cody, at 92.
  •   ADVENTURES IN LO-FI  |  July 11, 2014
    One obvious reason for heavy music is catharsis, a healthy release for all the built-up bullshit modern life entails. Like kickboxing class for suburban women, but with lots of black clothing and long hair.

 See all articles by: SAM PFEIFLE