The unique flavor of Louis Logic is back in an entirely new rapper within sample-free, self-produced, rich instrumental choral blends. The keys and (his) backing vocals of opening track "Day Late & A Dollar Short" are a sweet hello to the reconstruction of Louis' sound on 'Look on the Blight Side', and throughout his lyrics and delivery has never been more honest or expanded. Highlights for me include said opening track and "Chip Off the Old Blog", a speedy and frantic fray on bloggers that requires repeat listens just to process the level of quality and delivery being showcased. The album art is slick as slip too.
Esko is a budding LA based MC who passed along his wig-flipping single for "American" -- a prolific and critical sentimental statement about American politic$ and influence. I was so taken aback by something that managed to find my spam folder that I had to contact Esko immediately and dig into whatever releases he's put out. The first is a free 2009 EP on his bandcamp, followed by the criminally under-exposed 2012 album 'The Seed'. With visual cinematography as a stated influence (Kubrick & Tarantino), it's evident to see how Esko vividly moves from beat to beat as an audio-director/storyteller. The album thus relates his life story within the metaphor of a seed being forced to rebuild and grow after passing through the dark recesses of space. The flourish is something beautiful and tranquil, but not without thorns. Going to hold Esko to an interview when his new album surfaces... Dude is on the precipice of amazing and realizing he's reverberating in space.
When I said Longevity had honors for my favorite release of 2013 - and while largely that vein beats true - it was a bit of downplayed negligence on the fact that I was lucky to be a witness/participant of a local DIY EP involving my favorite people in the summer. This Word Is Weapon are a local MT band that have shuffled a few iterations, and in July (around my birthday no less) I got to take part in a guest/gang vocal in a "until-we-meet-again" EP of sorts featuring the founding members, plus the addition of the lead singer's bro on bass. My brother drummed for them at the inception (the two guitar players, bru, and singer were past pieces of another local hardcore band for years) but was absent for one album and returned for this amazing EP which was written, recorded, and essentially mastered in a few days after having not played as a unit for well over a year. If you were to look up DIY in the dictionary, these dudes are the breath. Their previous band they mastered their album in New York by the same people/persons who curated work of Thursday and other big names, and in the financial learning curve of getting a band off the ground, ran with it in their next iteration of TWIW completely by themselves -- and more to the point -- they did it exceptionally. One of the guitar players got a masters in audio recording/mastering (he runs his own studio now), and in the 3-4 releases they did he handled pretty much all of the recording process. The other guitar player is an advertising/screen printing virtuoso (check out his company A Thousand Arms), and as a collaborative effort, as someone who was around it, really spurned something special in our local music scene. The fundamental point to this, is that their music is tragically under exposed for such a longtime labor of love. I really wanted to just post this EP for free in the hopes that more people would listen, but having not mentioned it or contacting them, I'm really just imploring that anyone who digs good music to pay a few bucks to sharpen their shovel. Of all their releases, this is undoubtedly my favorite, surely from my closer connection to it, but also as a no-BS fanboy who never had to fake a headbang at any of their songs or shows. I guess my waiting was selfish to not promote them on this stage, but the recent news of their studio having flooding issues -- prompted to me to push back and help give them some of their due. This four track EP is truly special to me, and I hope it will be for you. Whether it's a tight-fitting Beyond the Black Rainbow sample or the crushing last song, this is something too good to be missed by any metal/ambient/hardcore music fan. If you dig what you hear/see (can stream all four songs below), please seek out a physical/digital copy from these awesome and talented dudes. The packaging is DIY and looks badass, plus they have all self-printed shirts that are equally awesome. Awesome. --The TWIW shirts aren't in the store anymore, but if you contact them I would bet they would be more than willing to hook you up for reasonable coin. The coliseum shirts they re-printed for this release are so fresh (can see it in the thumbnail of the above picture), or they would probably do the TWIW-tee shown below that they also made to coincide with its 7/20/13 release.