Forcefield, the latest from Tokyo Police Club, kicks off in grandiose fashion with “Argentina (Parts I, II, III),” an epic, eight-plus minute, multipart suite. While nothing else here quite matches this welcome blast of hubris — the windmill-guitar-driven “Tunnel Vision” and the sleek, shuffling “Toy Guns” come closest — the Canadian pop-rock quartet (which is neither from Tokyo or affiliated with law enforcement, discuss) flashes stadium-sized ambition throughout, piling on big, soaring choruses and a healthy dollop of radio gloss. Consider this one a club show in venue only.
Like Future, Los Angeles rapper/singer Ty Dolla $ign has a tendency to Auto-Tune his vocals so his verses hit like the musings of a hormonally charged cyborg. True, there isn’t a lot of diversity in terms of subject matter on his recent Beach House EP — money and women dominate $ign’s worldview. But the album-closing “Never Be the Same,” where the MC promises a new day atop an 8-bit beat appears to signal a crucial pivot point. “Progress is a constant,” he sings. Here’s hoping he follows through.
Silence is not something one would normally associate with Struck By Lightning. Yet up until this past September, the local metal quartet hadn’t performed live in more than two years, lying dormant like a massive, inactive volcano.
Ignore the admittedly hokey premise — four anonymous Wisconsinites don ski masks and adopt color coordinated names like would-be “Reservoir Dogs” cast mates (Intruder Blue, Intruder Green, and so on)— and appreciate the crew’s knack for spitting out polished, hook-laden pop-punk gems.
From the reflective, conscious rhymes of Black Star to the phonky and southern-fried melodies of OutKast, so many great hip-hop duos have touched the mic and changed the landscape of music. In honor of Method Man & Redman’s trip to the Newport Friday (and Monday’s release of Killer Mike and El-P’s Run the Jewels 2), we’ve ranked the 10 greatest rap duos (who were both emcees). Sorry, Gang Starr and Pete Rock & CL Smooth.