The Scenic Route
The upside to Swollen Members selling out is the resources they make for Battle Axe Records, which they then use to debut underground Canadian rap acts like Vancouver’s Sweatshop Union and Toronto’s Oddities. The latter have been honing their skills through live performances and a handful of releases as different permutations of the Oddities. The Scenic Route is a good album from a group deserving of attention, but it just doesn’t do justice to the tightness and energy of an Oddities live show. Unfortunately, there are a few too many mellow slow jams like "Allways,” "Given It Up” and "Coming Down.” And even if Black Santa and Esthero are more than capable of pulling off singing the choruses on the last two tracks, it gives the songs a played-out sound. At least the lyrics are always on point, with songs about drinking, late night insomnia, girls and the business vs. art aspect of the music all represented. Bookworm’s beats fit the five members of the Oddities like a glove. Newest member JSN JNS dominates on the mic, but the remaining members — Psy, Snidley Whiplash, J-StaRRRrrr!!! and Bookworm — aren’t slouches, either. The Scenic Route is a good debut that was a long time coming.
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