Hard Men Working Hard: HMWH 2018 GOTY Edition

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https://hardmenworkinghard.bandcamp.com/album/hmwh-2018-goty-edition

Australians. There are two things I have to get off my chest before I properly review this album, and that is what I know about Australians. On the internet they are notorious for being shitposters–not just notorious shitposters–but world renown shitposters. Like how Italy is world renown for its art and history, or how England is world renown for its bad food, or America is world renown for being American.

The other is a personal side note. Anybody in the Navy who was ever in the Pacific Fleet LOVES Australia and Australians. In fact it was a monumental tragedy when the Carl Vinson (CVN 70), instead of going to Australia, had to go deal with the whole North Korean situation. When asking any American sailor, why they love Australia so much–besides the koalas, kangaroos, and all that shit–it was the Australian sense of humor that made them love going there for a port visit.

So it’s no surprise that when listening to this album you get pure comedic gold. The track I thought was the funniest HMWH Christmas Parody Song #0001. It was so funny and hit so close to home that I burst out laughing, and that never happens when I’m listening to music. The girl droning on about meaningless girl talk, followed by screams was just pitch perfect. Comedy that is honest is always the best kind of comedy. The song is so relatable to any guy in any relationship. Because even if you do find that big titty goth girl, you’re eventually going to do girl shit, the goth girl thing is just a bait and switch. You think you’ll be listening to avant-garde albums and doing artsy shit together, but at the end of the day you’re always going to end up at Target or a Farmer’s Market watching her shop.

Although this is a comedic album, there is excellent musicianship. I mean, anybody who can sing, and record a really great Thriller parody is already heads and shoulders above everyone else. If you don’t believe me then just listen to Drill-Her. It sounds phenomenal, and it even improves, at points, the original. The whole album is filled with beautiful piano pieces, like in Party For Me, the piano just sounds so lush and played so well that you wouldn’t have ever have guessed that you were listening to a comedy album. Then in Party For Me (Homo Mix) you hear such amazing lyricism that’s catchy, romantic, and sung so well. Then there’s the lyricism for Mundane Rap that is so vicious and funny, that it even makes Mr. Metokur seem tame. It’s not just the actual lyrics that are done well, but the flow as well. Makin’ Hay is literally spitting fire, and is so cheerful and fun that it’s just pure pop goodness.

So obviously these are really intelligent, competent, and talented people. Comedians tend to be at the far right end of the bell curve. For example Steve Martin was a professor, Bill Cosby had the highest IQ tested at his university, and all the members of Monty Python were in Elite English universities. Yet it’s common knowledge about the sad clown, that comedians even though they make people laugh are really troubled souls, which I’m not going to say Hard Men Working Hard are. The sad clown is sad because he’s never taken seriously. So what I’m saying is, is this album should be taken seriously as a great piece of music. That even though this is album is filled with comedy that it needs to be judged on how well it sounds, just as much as how much it makes you laugh.

For some reason with music people tend to gravitate towards songs that are either really melancholy, empowering, sweet, or romantic. But you don’t hear people listening to comedy music which is bizarre. Look at any type of artistic medium and you’ll see people watching, reading, or talking about things that make them laugh. If there’s no comedy in a book, or a movie it’s always looked down upon. Whereas if there is comedy in music it’s always kind of dismissed. Which I kind of find to be really stupid. If somebody manages to be funny, they’re generally going to be smarter–as mentioned above–and thus probably more talented in any given field regardless of what it is. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that a comedy album sounds as well as it does.

HMWH 2018 GOTY Edition is so well made, and sounds so good; that I would encourage anybody who doesn’t listen to comedy albums to listen to this. There is so much technical ability on display on each track that I can’t really comment on what particular parts sound good on this album as much as I do on others because everything sounds great. The way that they use samples, the glitchiness, the synths, the beats, the groove, the production, the singing, the rapping, the lyrics etc. Midway through the album I had to quit writing notes on what sounded good, because everything sounded fantastic.

You come to this album for the laughs, and then you stay for the music. Which is really the greatest thing that can be said about a comedy album. This isn’t Weird Al Yankovic. This is humor with an edge, and the music to back it up.

For making me laugh, and making me listen to great music. I give this album my recc.

SLIMEYSKUMBAGGZ: SKUMBAGG CIGRAP pt. 1

 

 

This is probably the most fun I’ve ever had doing a music review. Mainly because I have no idea how these guys

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made one of the best rap EPs I’ve ever heard on soundcloud. I’m not joking either.

I had my suspicions of them they are from England, and as an American, we are very hesitant to English Hip Hop. Two their tags on their EP is as follows: trumpets, drumkits, and “ur mums tits.” Three it could be an elaborate ruse, that they’re just trolls looking for ways to fuck with nobody music bloggers. And finally they don’t even look like they’ve graduated high school (or whatever the English equivalent of high school is.)

I don’t mean to insult them in anyway, because I want to set the stage by how impressed I am by them. I’ve met grown ass men, guys who have families, who have been struggling their whole lives to make rap music, and NONE of them sound remotely as good as these two guys from England. It’s so bizarre and strange that it’s like how in Amadeus Mozart is just this immature manchild, who just wants to make fart jokes all day long, and comparing that to the Salieris of real life I’ve met is truly a bizarre experience. Don’t take this that I’m saying SLIMEYSKUMBAGGZ are unintelligent far from it, what I’m saying is that these guys who don’t even take themselves all too seriously are slaying grown ass men who’ve been at the game for a whole lot longer.

The whole album has the best that hip hop, in it’s golden age (the 90’s), on the best coast (East Coast) has to offer, and they’re literally spitting fire. The best way to compare their rapping prowess is a comparison to Robin Williams (which is bizarre but it’s what works). Robin Williams had such a speedy delivery in his stand up that you’d be laughing at one joke, and then he’d deliver five more jokes on top of that, so that you’d have no time to breathe. They’re so technical, and their rhymes are so brilliantly crafted, that by the time you are appreciating one bar they’ve dropped 5 more that are just as brilliant.

The production from how hard the kicks sound, the subtle little trumpets, the keyboards, everything is just so well produced and mixed. It’s really incredible, and with everybody going for the whole lofi hip hop feel, to listen to kick drum that actually KICKS is such a joy to hear.

I had to look up SKWID to see his earlier works, to see if it was them that was actually rapping, and he wasn’t just sampling other rappers (even though if that was the case the production is still top notch.) I found his earlier music and even his earliest song you can tell that there is the formation some serious talent.

 

In SKUMBAGG CIGRAP pt. 1 you really see the progression of an artist, and the album itself is so fun, I don’t know anybody who likes hip hop that wouldn’t like this album. It’s like watching a Tarantino movie. Tarantino is a big movie nerd, and he makes movies that just take all the good parts from every movie genre, and gives it his own unique flair. SLIMEYSKUMBAGGZ do the exact same thing, but with hip hop. It’s a celebration of Hip Hop and it’s a must listen. The fact that it hasn’t received that much attention is astonishing to me. This one of the best, if not the best soundcloud rap album I’ve heard yet. If you don’t believe me look up other hip hop artists on soundcloud and tell me whether they can hold a candle to this album.

I not only give this album a recc. I give this album an MVP award. I give it hall of fame. Stop reading. Listen and judge for yourself. I could be crazy. I don’t know. But this album is fucking fire.

 

Johnnascus Questions Everything

This post was written by The Scratch King you can follow him on twitter, instagram, and soundcloud.

In the microcosm of independently-released music, it’s all too common for relatively average projects to be erroneously labeled as experimental. Texas-based rapper/producer Johnnascus’ most recent release, Identity Crisis, is not one of these projects. Identity Crisis is an EP bursting with otherworldly bridges and authentic eccentricity, with genres within ranging from noise, to metal, to rap and even gaps of ambient. Johnnascus himself shows tremendous vocal range, bringing servings of screams, singing at a variety of pitches, and everything in between.

The first track, “Question Everything,” features a monologue setting the stage for the rest of the project, detailing meditation interrupted by an existential crisis. Playing out against a backdrop of haunting key melodies from producer Sleepy Randy, the track explodes into a stunning bevy of layered percussion and vocals. Similarly aggressive tracks can be found throughout the 36-minute runtime, including “My (A)sexuality” (prod. by Bruhmanegod), “Sad Satan LSD” (prod. By Bruhmanegod), and the self-produced “Gen Z.” The track listing here has no shortage of softer, more melodically-minded cuts either, including “2am,” with a stream-of-consciousness vocal flow that soars alongside a gorgeously mixed synth instrumental.

Identity Crisis is what so many projects dream to be: cathartic, polished, even unsettling. For any fan of music that doesn’t color inside the lines, it’s worth a listen.

Bigrecc/10