The Urban Alternative EP
**and1/2 out of *****
Combining Rock and Hip-Hop has always been a dicey mix, for every success like the classic first high profile attempt "Walk This Way" to the Limp Bizkit era most would like to forget things are never easy. More recently The Black Keys rolled out BlakRoc to modest success and that is the road Stereo Crowd seems to traveling all be it with a more pop friendly, party flair.
The first track "I Got It" starts up the celebration grooves by mixing genre's fairly successfully with multiple MC's, wah-wah guitars and dirty south bounce flow/feel. There are multiple big choruses here over crunchy guitars and digital squeaks like on "Who Do You Love" (which takes nothing from Bo Diddley) before the group focuses on more rock oriented numbers like the straight up "Can't Wait Anymore" with its "Hey Hey Hey" singalong. There is a tougher 70's soul edge with "You Always" whose lyrics aren't much, but the musical tone is engaging and makes up for it. "Up and Away" plays like a Trombone Shorty outtake that could be expanded upon.
On the less effective side, "Wish I Had A Girl Like You" sounds like a one note number until Kalae All Day does a sped up rhyme to make things interesting amidst the riff's. "Wrongly Accused" could have been a good mix of raw rock and rap, but vocally the wrong choice was made with the lead, a guest MC could have added some grit.
Overall the EP ends up being a mixed result like things often are when these two genre's dance, however the band seems more ready to through down these cuts in a live setting and there's no doubt the riffs and bass-lines would play better in a crowded club then on the stereo.
Here are a few Youtube clips of the NYC Group, Stereo Crowd:
"I Got It"
"Up and Away" Live