I wasn't sure what to make of this upon getting it. I had seen it compared to hip-hop, Rage Against The Machine, Whole Wheat Bread, and spoken word. The thing is all of these comparisons fit, sometimes all at once really. This EP acts as a historical documentation of sorts. According to the liner notes this was written, lyrically, by Jared Paul after being arrested for protesting the RNC prior to our last election, apparently during this protest he and many others were arrested. Instead of doing what was suggested and paying a fine Jared and the Strange Famous family raised money through the site and at shows to fight these charges and Jared was acquitted. Notably, this whole disc is littered with political musings that while overtly liberal leaning are spewed with a certain righteousness that is hard to deny.
Musically this is slightly different from the normal Strange Famous fare. Those of you who are familiar with the label could explain that it stays closer to the hip hop side of things with a few meandering off the board (Buck 65). Instead, we have what is essentially heavy punk rock with well executed breaks and strong leans vocally to hip hop. There are nods musically in the first track to Against Me!, hip hop, and hardcore all in a three minute burst. Things don't diverge too drastically from that blueprint throughout. Keep in mind this probably wasn't intended to be considered hip hop in a true sense this is essentially a poetry slam or general spoken word recording with some screaming and many times spoken in a rapping style cadence with punk rock backing. The lyrics while as stated early leaning wholly on the left side of political thought are written with a strong sense of song and rhythm. The best I can say about the lyrics is that they carry the ability to be political and personal at the same time. They never delve into the ridiculousness of a Casualties song and they don't rely on the rhetoric of an Rage Against the Machine song either. They fit nicely somewhere in between being angry for the sake of being angry and the overtly hostile but well read framework. Everything about this EP is strong except for one thing; while it comes with an explanation regarding why and under what conditions this was made there are no lyrics included. While the lyrics generally aren't hard to understand it's always nice to delve into them a bit deeper. Overall this EP is a very strong release in a style that seems to come off rather silly on most occasions. This would be a release worth picking up given the opportunity.
7.8 / 10
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