Daily Archives: March 25, 2009

Review: DOOM “Born Like This”

DOOM

It’s been a long time comin’. DOOM’s Born Like This is finally here. It’s been about 4 years since MF Doom last released an album. It’s been about 4 years since MF really did…..anything.

A lot has changed since he last cut an album, the 2005 cartoon-laced collaboration with Danger Mouse known as Danger Doom. He now simply goes by DOOM. It’s All Caps, just like one of his 2004 Madvillainy tracks suggests. And his voice has gotten raspier. So, how has DOOM repaid us for all those years of inactivity?

The best way possible: A triumphant return to independent/underground hip-hop.

Seriously, Born Like This is probably one of the better rap albums I’ve heard since that infamous Madvillain album. A totally different league than anything last year’s darling, Lil’ Wayne, has ever produced. It’s a serious head trip.

The first track on the album “Gazillion Ear” is an infectious number that showcases DOOM’s production/lyrics unlike ever before. And follow ups like “Ballskin” and “Rap Ambush” solidify the pace for the album. Fast, aggressive, and often unlike most rap albums you’ve heard.

Born Like This is probably his most character-heavy album. He’s always brought a persona to his albums, however the DOOM (Marvel Comics’ Dr. Doom) persona is really felt this time around. For the most part, it’s great (“That’s That”). Other times, it’s a little too much. This is really evident in the nearly homophobic “Batty Boyz,” where DOOM raps about how gay superheroes are. Explicitly. Also, on the track “Supervillainz,” which the beat starts, stops, stutters, and dies so much that it’s almost unlistenable.

Another issue that time has certainly strengthened is DOOM’s song structure. On his own, DOOM’s beats had a tendency to go too long. Most of 2003’s Mm…Food? is a good example of this. This time around, his songs are shorter and never outstay their welcome (aside from the aforementioned “Supervillainz”) And sometimes, the tracks are so good, you’d wish they’d stick around a little bit longer (“Still Dope” and “More Rhymin'”)

Born Like This is a brainy,zany, and uncanny hip hop album that gets better with every listen. Like his previous solo efforts, there a few duds (just the 2 this time around), but the flow of the album and creative beats on the other 15 tracks make it easy to overlook.

It’s good to have the Metalface back.

-Chase

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The Yachting Life of Captain Man Hands: Episode 3

The hits keep on coming!  In this groundbreaking episode, Captain Man Hands shows the world how to get a smoooooth shave.

Chris

Local Music: Febrifuge – “A Short Instance of Separation”

 I’ve been meaning to write something substantial about this album since I started contributing to SIA, but — while I do genuinely love Febrifuge’s A Short Instance of Separation — there’s no way I could keep my own personal biases from creeping into my convoluted sentences and mixed metaphors.

Plus, it would just be kind of weird. 

That’s because Chris Day, the “loon” responsible this lovely record, happens to be a good friend of mine. We worked together for a couple years at Art Six, and we live in the same apartment complex. We’ve been known to share milkshakes (two straws, please!) and fly kites on endless summer afternoons before collapsing to the green earth in fits of unbridled child-like companionship. Also: we coordinate haircuts and outfits. So, obviously anything I write about his band is going to come off sounding gushy.

And it’s unfortunate, because his band happens to be really, really fucking good. They were great the first time I saw them at Strawberry Fields but, after seeing them own the backyard of Art Six at their CD release show, I realized this: Febrifuge is, without a doubt, the best band playing in Denton today. Take it to the bank, and grab a handful of dum-dums on your way out. 

A Short Instance of Separation — with all its patience and meticulous production, its classicism and approachability — is miles away from the trend-hopping, hot-for-the-moment aesthetics that tend to characterize our town full of shutter shades, skinny jeans and keystroke DJs. His songs don’t have to scream to be heard; they’re subtle, but direct and unpretentious. It’s more Antony & the Johnsons than No Age, more Cabernet than raspberry vodka. And, while we’re at it, it sounds nothing like Morrissey or LCD Soundsystem

Okay, so maybe I went back on my no-gush policy, but everything I’m telling you is true! Don’t take my word for it, though. Visit Febrifuge’s MySpace page and, if you like what you hear — which you will — throw down the painless $10 for his CD. He spent two years working on this thing, and the artwork and full booklet are gorgeous. It’s well worth your money and time. 

[By the way, Grizzly Bear totally lifted the dewy croon of Veckatimest’s “Two Weeks” from the Febrifuge playbook. You heard it here first, folks. This shit is gonna blow up like the Space Shuttle Columbia! Chris D: get to poop-bloggin’!]

Jezy