What do you end up with when you mix Greg Attonito of Bouncing Souls, Craig Finn of The Hold Steady, Slug of Atmosphere, Mictlan of Doomtree, and an indie punk rapper named P.O.S.? How about a higher level of synthesized energetic music that teeters on the edge of something that has no genre or label, and a fresh new album titled, Audition from Rhymesayer Entertainment.
On this fall's huge "Pour Me Another" Atmosphere tour P.O.S. has gained a reputation. For crowds around the country he has emerged as someone taking hop-hop to new heights. As a drummer, guitar player and singer for Building Better Bombs, Om, Cadillac Blindside & Hard Knocks he gained the respect of the punk community. The lifelong rapper at heart only needed time to be moshed from his shell. On January 31st he kicks off a headlining, 50+ city tour here in Duluth.
Audition begins disarrayed. An Asian beat goes into hand clapping and banging guitar before letting loose. The first tune, “Audition iPecac”, has a balanced flow and hard attack of bass. Electric screeches bring the song to a new level of synthesized rap with old school roots. You can’t really tell when, “Half-Cocked Concepts” begins next as there is no break in the sound or flow to the first two songs. When “De La Souls” comes in third it is every different and stands out. There is a slow steady bass that feels like the aliens approaching in movies like, “War Of The Worlds.” The harmonies that are buried inside make the song a definite hit.
“Stand Up (Let’s Get Murdered)” is a catchy tune with strong music. It has a pinch of Ice Cube’s classic revolutionary style and a dash of Kanye West’s current appeal. “Bush League Psyche-Out Stuff” is a slow rap with P.O.S. saying F%$K to everyone he can. The bass climbs in its beat, and the infectious tone is mesmerizing. Other songs on the album like “The Kill In Me” really have a unique mix of effects and styles. A spaghetti western Clint Eastwood background moshes into an old school rap that sounds like it came from Scarface’s Diary.
The intros to P.O.S.’s songs are what capture you, but the music reins the listener in. Take “Yeah Right (Science Science)” with its grunge intro and intermittent guitar riffs mixed with fast rapping. Then comes “Audition M.D.” and its 70’s intro with an ending of someone saying, “I had a catheter in for 3 weeks, it got clogged so many times in one night, so I pulled it out.”
The punk in P.O.S. gives the music a firm foundation of strong writing while the rapper bitch-slaps your ears into submission. The album is a testament to a journey of a great artist and a glimpse into what is around the corner in music today. The hard bass and guitar interludes are great for the rock fan, while the angry raps satisfy even the hungriest hip-hopper that lies in everyone.