Author: D. Russell

Rotten Musicians
Rotten Musicians Turn Into Escaped Zoo Animals And Terrorize The Town In A Good Way
Street: 12.10.13
Rotten Musicians = Dan The Automator + Slug
Goddammit. When I listened to this the first time I was so pissed off by the fucking bubble language on “OB,” I almost couldn’t make it through. When I listened to it a second time, I was still infuriated by the bubble talk, but was able to wade through the sludge and discover the production gem this story-telling album is. Almost every short two-minute track starts with an intro about newly morphed zoo animals that vaguely reminds me of Deltron 3030, followed by simple loops, synth sounds and a super catchy hook in “MaMMals.” The raps are witty and nerdy, the hooks catchy and the beats are nostalgic yet energetic and fresh. Much to my dismay I have to say, well done. –D. Russell

Sleepless in Soweto
Guerrilla Arts Ink
Street: 11.12.13
Asheru = Fela Kuti + Common
Asheru delivers his vision of global African unity in Sleepless in Soweto, and if it weren’t for the blending of rapid-fire rhymes combined with elements of Afro-beat and American hip-hop, I would have been bored by the amount of R&B present in this album. “Simphiwe’s Theme” opens the album with a message of progress and enlightenment and speaks of this realization after Asheru’s time spent in Africa. With a rhyme style reminiscent of Soup from Jurassic 5, Asheru slams out “It’s a struggle for the progress, victory’s in the process/Gonna make change systemic like the real blackademic.” “Sleepless,” rich with implications of spiritual awakening, uses a complicated but ear-pleasing set of homographs: “The artist might use all his might to blow you all away.” The beat in “Guateng” draws on Asheru’s hip-hop roots in ’90s rappers like Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, though hard-hitting “It Ain’t Hard To Tell” saved the album for me with its energetic, quick rhymes. –D. Russell
King Buzzo
This Machine Kills Artists
Ipecac Recordings
Street: 06.03
Buzz Osborne = Melvins + John Stuart Mill
Osborne has been King of The Melvins for the past 30 years, and has produced a metric shit-ton of sound, ranging from demonic grunge to obnoxious noise. The title hints at Buzzo’s fear of releasing an acoustic solo album, as many solo careers fall flat; rather, This Machine serves as an autobiography tailored for the true Melvins fan with 17 to-the-point tracks. “Laid Back Walking” rages in with some pretty sweet but simple guitar melodies, adding to Osborne’s mild social and political commentary. Meanwhile, “Instrument of God” has the pace of Houdini with the angry, early grunge/punk vocals of Ozma. This album is not a jumping-off point for starting your Melvins’ discography, but instead pays homage to a lengthy career while introducing an evil acoustic flair and an introspective look into King Buzzo. –D. Russell