BLIND CAVE SALAMANDER
"The Human Fish"
Subtract the far-off wood-block collisions, creaks, and sudden tonal death-spirals, and you'd have yourself the fraught, atmospheric soundtrack to an animated, Little Nemo-esque short about doomed goldfish idling through shadowy coral reefs, laden with the knowledge that they could become some bigger creature's dinner at any second.
Gifted 'n' talented rap-titan-in-(impatient)-waiting drops hard, sticky science over Kanye's halycon "Can't Tell Me Nothing" beat: shouting out Shinobi and Kobe, repping his hometown (Baltimore), sniping at snitches, acknowledging that the mixtape/label hustle demands hella perseverance: "I'm so stressed, got grays in my braids/Run laps around these tracks, on a paper chase."
Eighteen's the age of consent in most states, right? "Settle down, take your time/Don't be stupid like your friends," Matthews warns over this dissonant, slightly rollicking piano ode to pretty, bitty young things striking out on their almost-adult own. It's sound advice, of course, but it's the same stuff your parents preach, and most of us didn't pay them any heed, either. The singer owns up to preying on the young lady tail himself, so in a way he's warning ripe Lolitas to steer clear of him. Meta!
THE PHOTON BAND
"Where Did the Love Go?"
If you should run into this retro-inclined Philly trio somewhere—a show, Whole Foods, a head shop, whatever—please clue 'em in that the love never actually went anywhere, it just stayed back in the 1960s and '70s, an era Photon Band revere a tad too much.
THE WU-TANG CLAN
Reunited, and it feels so—well, so 2000. And, on the soulful "Sunlight," unsurprisingly somber. Parse "That which is spirit is spirit, which is flesh is flesh/Meaning life has no partnership with death" however you see fit—but the kung-fu flick samples and pinballing horns work the melancholy vibe this hip-hop unit's been known for since 1993. It's the same ol' comic-book/MC grind all over again, but you know, so what? I'll hit it at Cheapo anyway with no regrets, and so will you.
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