Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Album Review: Aesop Rock & Homeboy Sandman- Lice

Aesop Rock & Homeboy Sandman
Lice EP
*** out of *****
Two well respected New York City MC's pair up for a their first release together as Aesop Rock and Homeboy Sandman work with a series of producers for the Lice EP. The nastiness of the title and cartoon cover art, is combined with crafty word play and sonic movements.

"Strange beats normal" is an agreed upon line by both MC's after going through legit concerns about current hip-hop fans, touring and society in "So Strange Here". That statement from the searching and understated track solidifies the message of this EP as a whole. Curve balls do get thrown as an intriguing organ fueled beat from Optiks seems to be setting up for grandiose rhymes before the duo get silly, talking nasty shit that "Katz" do or shouldn't do.

"Vertigo" kicks things off with energy, power and a sweet use of vibes but the most complete track is "Environmental Studies". Slow piano rolls with Ron Carter like bass before boom boxes and moon rocks roll out. Snares and hi-hats join as Blockheads production perfectly supports behind the duo reminding us to never count the kid out.        

Spinning a nu metal riff into an intriguing tense closer Charles Hamilton sets up the background while the dueling front-men bark out their bars. The pairing itself feels effortless even though their styles are very different. Aesop Rock rhymes direct, sharp and stoic while Homeboy Sandman is languid, nuanced and rope-a-dope. The partnership is comfortable with experimentation (5 tracks, 5 different producers) as it seems to be just beginning a symbiotic pairing if they wish to make this more then a one off adventure.
Another bandcamp find, you can get the album from their page or stream it below:

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