Monday, August 29, 2011

2011's Overlooked Gems

July 29, 2011

Killer Mike, Pl3dge

Though Killer Mike got his break as a tough-guy OutKast guest, he has increasingly established himself as the favorite political rapper of people who hate political rappers. The blunt-spoken Atlanta MC’s stylish, impassioned outrage culminates on Pl3dge, which samples a wrestler’s boasts one moment, calls out Jay-Z for obscuring the huge power gulf between himself and the billionaires who actually run our world the next, and never forgets to balance its pox-on-both-parties vitriol with equally furious entertainment. That it only spent one week on Billboard’s Top 200 list — at No. 115 — just reinforces Mike’s righteousness.

No Joy, Ghost Blonde

This Montreal quartet’s sumptuously shrill wall-of-noise debut came out too late in November to have a chance at most year-end lists. Coincidentally, the title of an earlier 2010 sleeper, labelmate Tamaryn’s The Waves, applies here just as well: Singer-guitarists Jasmine White-Glulz and Laura Lloyd summon up crest after dizzying crest of churning distortion, their incantatory vocals half-submerged, as elements of 1960s girl groups clash with the brutal dissonance of the ’90s rock underground. “You Girls Smoke Cigarettes?” is a cool blast; the title track a warm bath. Either way, there’s no rush surfacing.

courtesy of, Inc., © 2011

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Press Mentions

"Goes over the top and stays there to very nice effect."
-- David Carr, The New York Times

"I wasn't fully convinced. But I was interested."
-- Rob Walker, The New York Times

" Marc Hogan wrote in Spin..."
-- Maureen Dowd, The New York Times

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