If I had to say name music that helped shape my transition from adolescence into adult it would probably be underground hip hop. Bands like Insane Clown Posse, Atmosphere, Twiztid and the like were a staple around me and my brother. I also was a fan of Jay Z as well because he talked about a lifestyle I wanted to live.
Why am I bringing up these moments from the past? Because I was introduced to a Hip Hop duo called Smacktown. Smacktown is group hailing from Sydney, Australia that combines multiple genres to hip hop to attempt to create a sound all their own. Their most recent release is Powerless/Chelsea Grin EP.
Smacktown’s Powerless/Chelsea Grin EP has a bit of a feeling of that sound that takes me back a bit. It also seems to be taking from multiple styles to find its sound. From Reggae fusion, to underground, to even horrorcore rap (minus the murder and mayhem lyrics). It also adds the modern ways of adding EDM into it to appeal to a more current audience. Wrap it all together with politically charged lyrics and you get this.
Just going by the politically charged lyics in singles like ‘Powerless’ it feels like it is trying a bit too hard. Then again, I might just be a bit too cynical these days and have finally had enough of bands trying to make bland music sound “important” and “extreme” because they are talking about issues we should notice. A lot of bands when trying to get noticed attempt to develop a surge of cult like support early on by going this route, and more often than not it works. I just feel that it is a bit overused at times.
Music is subjective, that being said I didn’t hate the beats. They didn’t get me to jump up on my feet and want to tear my house apart. They also didn’t make me miserable either. It honestly is vanilla, and if you are trying to be noticed possibly by a wider audience, vanilla is not necessarily the way to go. By incorporating a whole mess of music styles and genres, it also takes away from the political message at times because I don’t know if I’m supposed to be on my feet gyrating and getting lost in a song about corporate and government greed.
Smacktown’s Powerless/Chelsea Grin EP is good if you need some background noise playing at a Hot Topic. It doesn’t really offend, because how can you be offended by words you barely can hear mixed in a musical jumble? I will say it’s also worth getting if you need some music to listen to on a long road trip/treadmill walk and have to find a way to distract yourself from the monotony of driving/walking/running.
You can pick up Smacktown Powerless/Chelsea Grin EP on Itunes right now for 9.99 or individual songs for 1.29 a piece.