Wu-Tang cum Eminem deliveries mixed-over danceable anime-influenced beats – this New York or Connecticut-based trio (MurMur the MC, Kid Presentable, and vocalist Erin Pellnat) cut their teeth on primarily underground venues, honing their sound throughout two albums and it seems Glitch Mouth has found their style on the sanguinary dreamland of their third album, Blood of the Shogun - the one you're reading about.
Blood of the Shogun's music is bold enough for fans of esoteric beat makers like Nujabes, Onra, etc., but with a lyrical ferocity that's comfortable for fans of gangster rap to get down to with no loss of cred. Primary vocal duties go to MurMur, and his confident but crass delivery is a perfect foil for the ethereal music. The whole album is an exercise in duality: the hyper-masculine MurMur backed by the achingly angelic Pellnat (their voices replace each other like the revolutions of a flail on "Midnight Sun"); the soft samples of classical music over brick-hard beats (the Spanish guitar on "Gunslingers"); the dancey time signatures that change the tempo of the album (the club-usable "Body Blows"). Whatever they feel like doing, Glitch Mouth does it well. Musically, this album finds a trio of artists at their most experimental and yet feeling comfortable with everything they try. That's a rarity in any genre.
Lyrically, there is a bunch of weird stuff going on, mostly in execution. Like demented nursery rhymes, the group is capable of such perversions as "Get up in the kitchen with Dina whippin' that china/when I'm finished with that business it's this dick in her vagina" ("In the Kitchen"). And there's a considerable danger on the B-movie intense "Living Def,” when Murmur mixes supernatural threats while tossing comparisons to blaxploitation hero Dolemite, and you really don't want to know if he's willing to back that up. The themes don't fall too far from standoffish oaths to drug dealing and fornication, but the group occasionally reveals a soft side: "Somnus, this light has found us/drowned like a midnight sun/light, we dream," preaches Pellnat on the closer "Midnight Sun.”
There's poetry going on in Blood of the Shogun, if not in verse then in music. The album is everything good that's been on in rap and hip-hop for the last two decades (daring sampling, willingness to use male-female harmonies, abnormal lyrical delivery patterns, more accessible sound to a wider audience - pick something). Lack of recognition may prevent these guys from ever breaking through the surface, but that's where you, dear reader, come in.
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