Die Antwoord | Ten$ion

Zef Recordz
By DAN WEISS  |  February 7, 2012
2.5 2.5 Stars

DA-M
Moreso than any "controversially-lipped" chanteuse (to borrow from one of Lana Del Rey's many observers), South African rap/rave/meme/satire/knuckleheads Die Antwoord beg the question:"Is that all there is?" Get over the initial freakshow that these are weird-looking dudes (and lady) who exploit their appearance to achieve a surreal fright effect that, aside from Odd Future and arguably the new Nicki Minaj video, current rap is mostly missing. But take that away and all that's unconventional are their voices — Ninja's trilled r's and Yo-Landi Vi$$er's high-geisha intonation. On the follow-up to their sort-of fizzled debut, $O$, the beats are more squarely in line with non-freaks, like the faux-Dre piano of "So What?" or the just-add-water dancefloor jam "I Fink U Freeky." "Fatty Boom Boom" is a nasty percussive jam that rattles off skills worthy of people with nothing to prove, and the hilarious opener "Never Le Mkemise 1" begins with gospel-like chanting in their native Afrikaans for a minute before Ninja enters over an outside-in dubstep squelch. But for the most part, Ten$ion is a letdown in its utter normalcy.

DIE ANTWOORD | Paradise Rock Club, 967 Comm Ave, Boston | February 10 @ 8 pm | $20 | 18+ | 617.562.8800

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