Sons of Mammal The Memory Burn LP

The newest from avant-hip-hoppers the Escape Artists, a project between members Xczircles and Amnesia, starts off slow but is worth the patience. The Memory Burn LP begins with "Poeta Nasscitur Non Fit,” a too-long spoken word piece with a Xczircles-produced backdrop of piano and strings, but no drums. As the first track, it’s tiresome. However, it serves as a good example of what’s coming: smart and engaging lyrics, and comfortably relaxing instrumentals. With "Lifespan,” Jani5 serves up a mellow platter, this time with drums. It’s a good segue into the Xczircles solo "Poetic Revenge,” a short, West Coast bumper also from Jani5. "Poetic Revenge” is the album’s highlight. Jani5 also provides the chill beat for "Moment Of…,” which has a nice doubled-up chorus. The album’s final cut, "The Whispering Ear,” is an interesting back-and-forth that would be more impressive if each rapper’s lyrics meshed better. There’s also a couple of instrumentals that are good but long, and a couple of spoken word pieces similar to the album opener. "Ticking” is most interesting, given a rhythm from a ticking clock. The Memory Burn LP is currently only available on vinyl, but an upcoming CD version will replace the vinyl’s long instrumentals with a few shorter ones and add another spoken word piece, although more tracks like "Poetic Revenge” would be preferred. (Cathexis)