Precon: Already very familiar with it. I’ve had the album for quite some time but was always more a fan of The Cold Vein by Cannibal Ox, which is like this with better rapping.
Favorite Track: Deep Space 9mm. Not as aggressive and stands out as a result.
Least Favorite: The Nang, the Front, the Bush and the Shit. Not bad though.
After Listening: Sick, sick beats. The word I always think of to describe El’s production is apocalyptic. It sounds like he’s mad at the world and wants to obliterate it. This can be headache inducing and/or mind numbing after a while, and I usually don’t listen to the album all in one sitting, but I appreciate that it’s there. It can be very cathartic when you need it.
The big problem with this album is El-P’s rapping. He seems competent and has good lyrics for the most part, but there’s something missing. He has a bland, monotonous tone to his voice, he doesn’t have much of a flow, it often sounds like he’s just talking, and his vocals are dominated by the beats on every track. He adds echoey vocal effects and layers his lines slightly on top of each other, but it doesn’t help. What he really needed for this album, what his formidable yet fantastic production deserves, is an MC that can go toe to toe with it. Unfortunately, he’s not the man for the job.
Overall: 3.5 stars (a strong 3.5, it’s tough love)