These Orange County “g-punks” had a small but sizable jump on the current slew of rap-rockers, releasing their last album over three years ago. And, with this artful, aggressive, and downright mature addition, it shows. While Broke doesn’t exactly raise all the standards for a genre suffering from being cripplingly derivative, it does introduce some of its most electrifying compositions, reinventing elements from some of its most agile proponents (Incubus’ science-rock, P.O.D.’s party chants) and adding the fury of some of its valued progenitors (Fishbone’s abandon, Wu-Tang Clan’s audio sandpaper). “Feel Good” offers skinny Ummah Collective-influenced funk bleeps sandwiched between a bouncy System of a Down neo-metal “screamo” tirade; “Bartender,” a slightly swung thrash workout, benefits from a radio-friendly chorus, and sublime ambient twinkles; and “Crazy Legs,” a severely syncopated rewrite of Notorious B.I.G.’s “Hypnotize” (itself a rewrite of Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick’s “La Di Da Di”) that gloriously reworks the rap-rock idiom into traditional funk choppiness, complete with M.C.U.D.’s oversexed tirades. While many tracks suffer from the simplistic groove-thud of pimp-rock chicanery, a few choice nuggets make this collective of instrumentally proficient, dangerously creative, and spastic thrash-hoppers one of the genres few saving graces.
Zomba Recording Corporation, 137-139 West 24th Street, New York, NY 10001