The Austin Chronicle

SXSW Records

Reviewed by Robert Gabriel, March 18, 2005, Music

Aesop Rock

Fast Cars, Danger, Fire and Knives (Definitive Jux)

Without need for academic accreditation, hip-hop elicits its own intellectual parameters. Therefore the 88-page lyric anthology The Living Human Curiosity Sideshow accompanying Aesop Rock's latest EP signifies rather than justifies. "As if twitching upon your authored condition's really that different from administered conditioning glitches," contends the wordy Brooklynite, who breaks free from so-called conventional wisdom with alliterative social critiques delivered in jettison. Musical prescriptions that seek to "collide your worker ants with autobahn inertia dance" serve pseudo-socialist visions of non-denominational reality, leaving pop-culture fantasy for the birds. Critiquing hipsters with "too bad your inner sheep never forgets to follow" and dismissing Catholicism with "I'm more karma than bread and booze," a deconstructive world of honest unpredictability unfolds. Layering his "metal kettle unsettling treble howl" over Vanilla Fudge electro-organ stabs, Aesop Rock proves that "there's no cause iller than no cause at all." Falling over his lines in lung-collapsing fashion, Fast Cars, Danger, Fire and Knives grafts special-ops gadgetry onto the framework of T La Rock's classic pronouncement of empowerment. "It's yours" all right, "my son of a dove cry, humbled, even doves die." (Saturday, March 19, 12:45pm @ Emo's Main)


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