Lazerbeak - Lava Bangers
There’s no doubt that the hip hop crown belonged to motor mouth rap collective Odd Future for the majority of 2011, but that was then and this is now - and whilst last year indefinitely belonged to the East, 2012 sees a whole host of West-side talent swaggering back into the fray. When he’s not busy playing guitar in small-time indie band The Plastic Constellations, Aaron Mader; aka; Lazerbeak can be found on producing duties for the Minnesota based Doomtree, alongside the company of six other talented emcees and producers. But for the second time in his career, he’s going it alone on his second full length solo album; Lava Bangers.
The album kicks off with the beat heavy instrumental number ''Mighty Jungle' - which sets the tone for the majority of the record (it is an instrumental album after all). The first vocal of the record doesn’t come in until four tracks deep on 'LRL' with an expertly looped vocal progression that cements Mader’s talent for reinventing the same sort of sound that was present in many nineties mix tapes.
The titling of tracks 'Had Enough' and 'Finally Bac'k present the record as Mader’s perspective grows with age, and seems more mature than on previous records; Hand Over Fist and Legend Recognise Legend. 'Knight Fighter' is one the standout tracks with its disco vibes that mingle interchangeably with a strong backbeat, it’s just a shame that it clocks in at a mere 1 minute 15.
Having a twenty track album may seem intimidating to many listeners but Lazerbeak is nothing if not consistent. It’s never going to make waves in high places, but when it can remain a best kept secret for many hip hop fans that harbour a secret passion for 70s disco music, it needn’t have to.
Purchase and listen
I think we can all agree that since the split of Meet Me In St. Louis back in 2008, there’s been a very large British post-hardcore hole in our hearts. There hasn’t been a band since that have been able to cook up the same dish of utter pandemonium a record like Variations on Swing was packed with. [read more]
It has been fairly well documented that in November 2009 Darren Hayman was badly beaten up whilst on a short tour of the UK, and he suffered a fractured skull and a period in hospital as a result. The fall-out from that incident has not dented his gift for prolific songwriting – this album is an additional piece of work to '31 Songs', his successful song-a-day effort from January this year – but the attack did give him partial deafness and an inability to cope with loud transient sounds. [read more]
What's next for an artist after they propel their sometimes recklessly experimental début album to the top of a national chart? Back in 2008, Franco-Finnish art-pop duo The Dø achieved exactly that when their deeply flawed, but occasionally inspired, first album A Mouthful became the first English-language record by a French act to hit #1 in France. [read more]
Tosta Mista is the second full length album from Canadians Hooded Fang and is also a Portuguese toasted Ham and Cheese Sandwich. The album is as simple as the aforementioned sandwich but sadly not as effective. It clocks in at just under twenty-three minutes with ten tracks to behold. For such a short album the band must follow the Pixies code of songwriting - a load of finely-tuned sprinters, assaulting the listener one after the other. [read more]