Notes to Self Warning Shots

Notes to Self Warning Shots
Toronto, ON-based crew Notes to Self consist of DJ Dopey and rappers Swamp Donkey, Roshin and Bronze One, who is also the group's producer. Their debut EP, Warning Shots, balances fist-pumping anthems with laidback odes to the summer on "Days Like These" and its accompanying remix. Notes do meat-and-potatoes underground rap well; "Lifelines Remix" is propelled by triumphant horns and elegant keys, and boasts an energized verse by Cannibal Ox's Vast Aire. "Yellow & Grey" is an impassioned paean to grinding only improved by the inclusion of a remix with indie icons Dilated Peoples. The lone disappointment is "Never Die," with dull '80s stadium rock and rote lyrics. Bronze's beats ape the soulful boom-bap of DJ Babu, and rappers Swamp Donkey and Roshin are talented, if not especially distinctive-sounding. Notes aren't reinventing the wheel but as an appetizer for the group's upcoming full-length, A Shot In The Dark, the EP works. Bring on the album! (Sure Shot)