Beatnuts Take It Or Squeeze It

You can always count on the Beatnuts to provide a near-classic single every time they release an album. Since 1993, they've produced bangers like "No Equal," "Off The Books" and "Watch Out Now," tracks that get over largely because of the quirky beats that refuse to stay out of your head. This pattern continues with "No Escapin' This," a propulsive, instantly addictive number fuelled by a chopped-up choral chant. The group's problem, however, has always been its ability to maintain this inventiveness over an entire album. It doesn't help matters that Psycho Les and JuJu aren't exactly the tightest MCs, with their so-so delivery and limited topic range. That said, after three full-lengths and two EPs, Take It Or Squeeze It is their tightest effort in some time. The group remains up to their usual mindless hedonistic antics and invites guests like Tony Touch, ex-Beatnut Al Tariq and Greg Nice to join in on the party. Nice, formerly of Nice & Smooth, seems to have been consulted, because the construction of melodic hooks on almost every song is reminiscent of the approach of his old group. To employ this strategy over a whole album is something the 'Nuts haven't really tried before. It works to their advantage, meshing well with their usual steelo of raw beats and occasional Spanglish lyrics, and they maintain this formula for the duration, remaining unaffected by current trends. (Loud)