P.O.S. - Audition (Cover Artwork)


P.O.S.: AuditionAudition (2006)

Reviewer Rating: 4
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Contributed by: InaGreendaseAlex Billig
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The Midwest is known for a few things: corn, cattle, plains, white people‚?¶but in recent years these stereotypes are proving to be entirely outdated. Today's small Midwestern cities are continually proving themselves to be powerful and innovative forces in independent music. Regardless of your opinions concerning the artists, it's impossible to ignore the fact that Omaha's Saddle Creek and Minneapolis's Rhymesayers Entertainment have become among the most notable labels in their respective genres. One would be hard-pressed to find a college student who was unfamiliar with either one of their leading artists (Bright Eyes and Atmosphere, respectively). However, while new additions to the Saddle Creek roster have continually failed to turn the heads of rock fans, the most promising new artist on Rhymesayers is quickly rising to indie stardom.

"If there's one thing I'm good at, it's thumb-wars," P.O.S. declared after challenging and defeating three ardent competitors from the crowd during his recent set at The Space in Portland. After witnessing firsthand his exceptional thumb-warring abilities, I don't think anyone in the room would've argued with this claim. His solid hand grip and agile thumb jabs were enough to frighten away even the most fanatic thumb-warriors. It seems then, that unlike most mainstream rappers, P.O.S. simply has the skills to back up his words. That's not to say that he's arrogant; after all, Hip-Hop Thumb-War Champion isn't exactly the most sought after title. When P.O.S. gloats about his skills, which is rather rare, he's simply telling the truth, but this honesty extends beyond his stage personality.

The songs on P.O.S.'s Rhymesayers debut, Audition, were written in an effort to combine hip-hop music with punk rock sensibilities. Is this an original idea? Of course not; rapping over rock music, in all its forms, has become about as cliché as making fun of Mormons. However, that doesn't mean it can no longer be done well.

Having grown up in the punk scene, initially rejecting rap music, P.O.S. refuses to deny his roots and instead blends the sounds of punk with hip-hop beat production and creates a sound which is his own. Thankfully, this doesn't mean Transplant-esque bar-chord rap nonsense. This means raw drum tones, ominous guitar meddling, occasional shout-out choruses, and plenty of punk-oriented references including guest vocalist Greg Attonito of the Bouncing Souls contributing the vocals from their `90s punk classic "Argyle." In the end, however, the "punk" aspect of Audition has been overblown. There is nothing stripped down about the album; it's full of horns, strings, and plenty of digitally produced melodies. The final product is in many ways a typical hip-hop release. It may not be breaking barriers, but it's definitely distinct, it sounds good, and a lot of these songs are just too good to ignore.

Those who have not found issue with his "hip-hop/punk/indie" gimmick have criticized P.O.S. for being a definite runner-up to Atmosphere front man Slug, who appears twice on Audition. On first listen there are some similarities in their deliveries, but it's unlikely that anyone would confuse the two Minnesotans. It's true that P.O.S. may represent a follower in Slug's movement, but it would be wrong to call him an imitator. Their relationship should not be seen as one of rivalry, but instead as mentor and protégé. If you have a difficult time remembering that just think of P-O-S as Protégé Of Slug.

The modest album title "Audtion" suggests that P.O.S. is just getting started. He knows he has big shoes to fill. Still, those who catch him on the "P.O.S. Is Ruining My Life Tour" will unanimously agree that seeing him on this small D.I.Y. tour, sure beat the hell out of paying over $20 to see Atmosphere with a bunch of frat boys at the Roxy. If concert-goers are lucky, P.O.S. will never be the next Slug.


People who liked this also liked:
P.O.S. - Never BetterAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseDillinger Four - C I V I L W A RThe Clash - London CallingThe Gaslight Anthem - American SlangThe Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundChuck Ragan - Gold CountryHot Water Music - A Flight and a CrashLucero - 1372 Overton Park

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (April 27, 2006)

I've got 'Bush League Psyche Out Stuff' (love the bass) and 'Stand Up [Let's Get Murdered]' on my ipod and I love em both. I will definitely check this album out.

Anonymous (April 27, 2006)

Haiku D'etat owns any of these fooz.


Anonymous (April 26, 2006)

And a hundred other things. It's mostly Pissed Off Stef. But it's mostly Promise of Stress. But mostly, it really stands for Product of Society.

Anonymous (April 26, 2006)

it stands for peice of shit

Anonymous (April 26, 2006)

I've been trying to find this album forever, ever since I heard him on Heiruspec's Small Steps. I saw him live last year and he was pretty incredible.

Anonymous (April 25, 2006)

We are we are the youth of a nation

Anonymous (April 25, 2006)

eh, you would probably like this if you liked atmosphere...

Anonymous (April 25, 2006)

Man you guys are a bunch of fucking losers.

danperrone (April 25, 2006)

why aren't there more negative comments directed at this

Anonymous (April 25, 2006)

What about the samples of Kill Sadie? Half Cocked Concepts bitches?

Cheesetits (April 25, 2006)

I enjoyed this record. But yes, he sounds like an Eminem/Slug mix, but oh well.

Anonymous (April 25, 2006)

listen to madlib (quasimoto) or mf doom,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, nothing compares

kindofalongwaydown (April 25, 2006)

I had a car that was dubbed the piece o' shit or p.o.s. for short

Anonymous (April 25, 2006)

i dated a mormon once

Anonymous (April 25, 2006)

The midwest is also known for producing way better grind and hardcore bands than either of the coasts, none of whom ever get noticed.

Anonymous (April 25, 2006)

I think people more and more are starting to realize Punk & Hip Hop's music and cultures aren't that different from each other. This sounds very promising but those of you losing faith in hip hop there is plenty of grat shit doen past and present including artists like Del tha Funkee Homospien, Common, Aceyalone Blackstar, People Under The Stairs, Murs.

~ Alex P. Keaton

leifkills (April 25, 2006)

And I'll be the first to say it, he sounds like Eminem on some of his delivery.

Don't quite know how I feel about that.

leifkills (April 25, 2006)

Love it. This album is so fucking good its ridiculous. If you like some of the harder parts Ipecac Neat is also good.

waytansea27 (April 25, 2006)

the song "de la souls" with greg form the souls is badass, the rest of the album is pretty good as well

danperrone (April 25, 2006)

no fucking way, this album sucks

this is shitty, playskool rap music for kids that think atmosphere is the greatest shit in the history of the world

the beats on this are terrible, and the fact that it's completely obvious that he's trying to single out the white kids that are currently into the whole taking back sunday / my chemical romance scene is ultra lame too

come on guys, i'd be hoping that some of you would see through this shit

Anonymous (April 25, 2006)

P.O.S. is currently the best underground hip hop artist out there, the guy from the Hold Steady single handedly took a half a star away from this album by the way, otherwise it's flawless and the song he's on is even good his voice is just so annyoing -Badmouth

Anonymous (April 25, 2006)

POS is a decent artist, a breath of fresh air in a genre over-saturated with the cocky, ignorant, fools we hear constantly on the radio. I'm not a big fan of rap/hip-hop, but I was starting to give up on ever even respecting it. Luckily bands like Atmosphere, Sage Francis, and this guy came along and gave me a break from lil john and the ying yang twins ranting about strip clubs and "fuckin niggas up". Nothing revolutionary, but he certainly has more vision than most of his contemporaries.
Respect to POS.

Anonymous (April 25, 2006)

P.O.D. is awesome

notfeelingcreative (April 25, 2006)

One of thebest albums, I've purchased this year! Excellent hip-hop record! Maybe I'm just biased because he samples "argyle", but I love this record.

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