Hail Mary Mallon Are You Gonna Eat That?

Hail Mary Mallon Are You Gonna Eat That?
Def Jux alumni Rob Sonic and Aesop Rock combine for their first full-length project, and all the groundwork they laid numerous shows together and collaborating on songs is evident in the chemistry the two demonstrate. Both are abstract MCs that apply multiple layers of meaning to their densely packed lyrics, and with little concern for contemporary sounds, the duo deliver the lyrics in their distinct styles, Sonic holding his own alongside a very charismatic Rock and his readily identifiable, gravelly but nasal voice. Their production is a nice fit too, with both producers preferring slamming rock drums, funky samples bordering on chaotic and spacey synth effects. The album works well as a whole, but a few tracks do stand out. The NYC duo pay homage to their forefathers on "Grubstake," imitating the echoed, repeating word style used by the Beastie Boys at the end of "Posse In Effect," along with the "ha, ha, ha, stick 'em" routine from the Fat Boys for the chorus over a minimal, old school-inspired Aesop Rock beat. While his beat for "Breakdance Beach" is even more stripped back, with pretty much just an old school 808 drum break, claps, cuts and a ready-made crowd participation shout-out. Rob Sonic ups the tempo on both the frantic "Table Talk" and the heavy, hard rocking "Plagues and Bacon," the former featuring both MCs chopping flows with impressive double-time raps, while the latter closes the album on an aggressive high note, also with faster-paced raps. Are You Gonna Eat That? is the best thing to be released by the Def Jux family in quite a while. It's certainly more infectious than Typhoid Mary, and she had to be quarantined. (Rhymesayers)