Saturday ACL Fest Record Reviews

Banks & Steelz

Anything but Words (Warner Bros.)

Saturday ACL Fest Record Reviews

Make way Big Grams, there's a new rap/indie rock collabo on the festival circuit. Banks & Steelz unites Wu-Tang sensei RZA with Paul Banks, frontman for sullen post-alternative breakouts Interpol. The duo blazes from the get-go, "Giant," wherein the MC's breathless power-to-the-people rhymes unfold into Banks' melodic radio rock hook. Hard rhymes and bouncy hooks, stacked atop big drums and supple synths, hold steady through a barrage of guest spots including: a vintage-quality Kool Keith verse on "Sword in the Stone," Florence Welch on over-layered pop cut "Wild Season," and Wu alums Ghostface Killah ("Love and War") and Method Man/Masta Killa on "Point of View." Banks, also contributing guitars, finds his singular moment on "Conceal," striking a magic groove of trip-hop and street funk. (2pm, Samsung stage)

***.5

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Banks & Steelz, ACL Fest 2016

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