Santa Ana's Immortal Minds
are both slimmed down (officially to a duo for now, but apparently Droopy the Don
has got some other projects due to surface) and fired up some more with their newest release, following an overall reboot of their site and a feeling that a lot more activity is about to start coming down the pike on all fronts. That main man Calicokid
is previewing new solo work
as well is a further sign something's up.
Kicking off with a sample of dialogue from Sons of Anarchy
is an apt touch, given the various snippets of crime-film and TV drama exchanges throughout. (Hearing Christopher Walken
bust out some serenely threatening lines from Kill the Irishman
is a nice touch, hearing a bit from Mad Men
's "The Suitcase" a fun surprise.) The whole recording exudes a feeling of both media overload and increasing, unbearable tension leaking into the songs. A good example is "Another Day," tackling confusion, frustration, fight or flight and being stuck in a cycle that seems escapable, all while delicate plucked tones dance around the mix.
There's a running theme of unsettling rhythms throughout, spitting snarling flows up against queasy, dreamlike textures of songs like "Take a Breath" and especially the tortured farewell "Memories" that feel far more 1990s than the bling-bling aftermath of today's hip-hop. Having "Idolizing the Faces" spin out the dead presidents trope is another nod, but the breakdown of how things aren't worth as much feels perfectly 2012. Guest turns from fellow MCs like Proh Won, Jumpship and Cain Kong, adding a nicely nervous turn to the quick-paced conclusion "Reach for the Sky," flesh out another solid release.