If youre really good or really lucky (coughKanyeWestcough), you can get both at once. Rocky Business seven-song EP, A Rebel's Roar, skews toward the art, with a few pit stops in the nonsense.
I mention it because the rap/pop duo is really good at club-thumpin nonsense when it wants to be. Non-EP single Kim Kardashian is an energetic blast of ridiculous, with the hollered chorus, People dont dance no more! They just stand there like this!
Rocky Business dont ever delve into that mode here, but they do drop Find Away, a punk-and-horns-fueled track that even uses an old-school ska up-strum in the verse. Its easily the most fun to be had on the EP. The rapid-fire Army of Love calls up early OutKast in rapping and production. The track falls in nicely behind Find Away on the fun-o-meter.
The rapping is quick and smooth throughout, whether in the chilled-out Burning Dust or the KNaan-esque hip-hop of America. Rockys Theme drops in some electro-inspired indie and an indie-rock chorus to place raps around, while Glide is as close to a modern rap track as Rocky Business gets, what with the autotune, buzzing synths and snapping percussion.
Other than Glide, these songs are not jamz that will end up in clubs or on the radio; or perhaps the duo is on to something Im not, and theyre joining up the critical and the popular somewhere past me.
This debut is a good taste of what they can do, but its not a defined statement of anything. I look forward to their next proper release to see which of many possible directions this talented duo will go. Stephen Carradini