Dirty Wormz, Ryno, VIP, and Public Offenders

The Parazite, The Call Me No, Welcome to tha Ground Under, and Day of Truth (Resurrection / VMG)

Texas Platters

Beat Box

Forget Dangerous Toys. Austin's Dirty Wormz represent the quintessential Back Room band. Welding nuclear fallout raps to a heavy metal chassis, the Wormz crudely remind us that it was indeed the now-defunct hard rock club just south of the river that hosted early versions of Public Enemy and Ice Cube when they first hit town all of those drunken years ago. While rock-first outfits often flounder in their attempts to capture hip-hop authenticity, Dirty Wormz benefit from MC Smackola and DJ Crash assuming the lead positions in the group. With their third album, The Parazite (Resurrection/VMG), the Wormz laugh in the faces of suburban parents whose teenage sons are suddenly "acting up, acting tough, imagine that; now he talking back, pretty soon he gone be talking black." Meanwhile on East Ninth Street, Ryno augments his Whut It Dew Family affiliation with a solo release of ground-shaking proportions. Adding girth to Texas gangsta rap, They Call Me No (On the Line) tramples its every target as cerebral jams "What Am I to Do," "So High," and "They Think They Gangsta" knock receptive heads into bewildered states. Ryno's immediate, "Welcome to the Nine" neighbors VIP capitalize on the success of their local radio hit, "Whoop," with the mix CD Welcome to the Underground on their Nina Ross imprint, teeming with mind-bending potency. As VIP vocalists K-Paul and Pimpin Pen join Tony Wayne and Ice B of Basswood Lane for a remix of J-Kapone's "Watch My 15's Stutter," lyrical whirlwind Gerald G laces "I'm a Beast" with a dash of wicked, double-timed flow, and Houston's Grit Boys clean up "Ridin' Lacs" with a fresh, shiny coat. Grinders in their own right, Northeast Austin's Public Offenders follow up their enigmatic New Generation of Kings collaboration, All Black, with a reupped version of their 2004 debut, Day of Truth (Freedom Fighters).

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