Today’s Sounds: P.O.S.
P.O.S., We Don’t Even Live Here (Rhymesayers)
It somehow seems a lot longer than three years since last we heard from Minneapolis hip hop’s most punked-out performer. That’s probably because in the interim since his third solo LP, 2009’s jarring Never Better, he has spent much of his time helping his Doomtree collective become the Twin Cities’ second best-known indie rap outfit.
As a long time P.O.S. fan, it’s easy for me to shrug off the unfortunate “hipster rap” label that surrounds the Doomtree camp. So what if they wear cutoff jean jackets, Cosby sweaters and so forth? I try to listen to music rather than judge its cover, so that doesn’t upset me.
What did kinda bug me was some of the music itself. Jazz singer/rapper Dessa has some beyond-cool records, and other individual solo projects from the collective rank as solid, if not staggering. A second crew album was better received than the first, but on the whole, most of the Doomtree rappers pale, energetically and lyrically, beside P.O.S.
So, it’s good to have him back, even if he’s had to cancel a national tour in light of health issues. I don’t care if it’s in poor taste, then, to call his new record “sick,” because it is.
WDELH is a departure, though calling prior releases formulaic would be extremely unfair. The rapper has always worn his hardcore punk roots on his plaid sleeve cuffs and has never stopped to wink-nudge anyone about it, but on this fourth solo outing, aggressive guitars are less prevalent than…aggressive synths!
Yes, dance punk has permeated the sonic landscape of Pissed Off Stef’s rockin’ rancour, and to phenomenal effect. Repeat offenders Lazerbeak and Paper Tiger seem to reserve their most gnarly beats for the verbose MC, and followers hungry for their raw organics get a belly-full.
While not preachy, P.O.S. isn’t here to celebrate good times. But that doesn’t make his music “dark,” as many critics say. This record is, to the contrary, his most upbeat, end to end. In shaving down a few cuts to a tight, tense 11 tracks, listeners are spared any real meandering and delivered non-stop bass-in-your-face kicks.
Four Tet, “Lion” (Jamie XX remix)
Husky, “Tidal Wave”
From the Melbourne band’s debut LP Forever So, released by Sub Pop back in July, this animated video by Celeste Potter complements the intricacy, intimacy and grace of their oeuvre.