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MC Lars: This Gigantic Robot KillsThis Gigantic Robot Kills (2009)
Reviewer Rating: 4
Contributed by: William_DavidWilliam_David
(others by this writer | submit your own)
The self-proclaimed post-punk laptop rapper returns with his first full-length since 2006's The Graduate in the nominally Wesley Willis-influenced This Gigantic Robot Kills (TGRK). And from the first track to the last, it is an all-around better effort, but not without a few slight problems. The .
The self-proclaimed post-punk laptop rapper returns with his first full-length since 2006's The Graduate in the nominally Wesley Willis-influenced This Gigantic Robot Kills (TGRK). And from the first track to the last, it is an all-around better effort, but not without a few slight problems.
Back before Gwen Stefani started rapping with Pharrell / Gas cost $1.15, and Goldfinger could sell â?¦ Billy was obsessed with third-wave ska / The Mighty Bosstones, Real Big Fish, Less Than Jake, he's seen them all / He longed for a time when even Bill Clinton played the sax on the White House lawn, and kids wore shades and checkered slacks"Musically, the track is a brilliant melding of mid-`90s ska-punk, calling to mind many of the bands it name-drops. It's followed by "No Logo," a duet with Nova Scotian indie rapper Jesse Dangerously that examines anarchism, Howard Zinn and the like. It's followed perfectly with a mood-changer in "35 Laurel Drive," a throwback to early quirky Lars tracks with simple lyrics playfully bashing his drummer, Jon Thatcher Longley, for having "the messiest house in New Jersey."
Later, Lars tackles gaming in "Guitar Hero Hero (Beating Guitar Hero Does Not Make You Slash)," featuring Parry Gripp of Nerf Herder and Paul Gilbert of Mr. Big, and "O.G. Original Gamer," with fellow nerdcore artists MC Frontalot and Jonathan Coulton. "We Have Arrived" brings k.flay, YTCracker and the Former Fat Boys together for a proclamation of the success of nerds and nerdcore, and is likely one of the best rap tracks that will appear this year, playing off the abilities of the individual artists in a showcase of talent.
Again, MC Lars isn't always tackling the most controversial of topics in his lyrics -- with tracks about "Guitar Hero" not making people real musicians, white kids not being hyphy and hipster girls being, well, pretty lame. But as is always the case, it's mostly a fresh stream of good, creative fun for the nerds in all of us. Lars also surprises by taking an incredibly serious turn with "Twenty-Three," a somber track about a college roommate (who was featured on Lars' debut album, Radio Pet Fencing) who committed suicide. Aside from the sad tone, the track helps personalize the artist, bring more attention to depression and suicide, and balances the flow of the album.
This Gigantic Robot Kills continues the evolution of MC Lars and follows through on the promise of truly great rap and quality songwriting mixed with an original personality steeped in `90s culture that came with The Laptop EP in 2004. In his own words, "This is the victory anthem."
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