Stop Die Resuscitate Hell.o

The first thing that strikes you about Hell.o is its packaging — neat-o cover art of panicked, raging masses offset by soft, pre-teen pink cursive. Put the disc on, and the real assault begins: a million layers of sound, echoing and exploding. SDR’s sound is a direct descendent of urban living’s hard grey and grit — the dizziness of metallic doorways and back alleys slicked black by rain. Yes, just like that. Producer Lyle Crilly is responsible for the rich, unearthly sound that carries the album, while the deep vocals of Dukes Onukes and quick-fire spit of coolhandLuke lace and lock overtop to varying degrees of success. The collaboration is lovely on "Crylon,” an ode to graff soldiers, and the first 30 seconds of "Lady Macbeth” inspire shivers as Onukes’ wails and croons overtop Crilly’s intoxicating drum line. The title track has the eerie, delicious feel of a zombie march, while "Lullabye” sounds like a prelude to electric nightmares; Luke switches frequently between too-fast raps and sluggish song, often sacrificing the strength of his words to the overpowering beat. The final, high-energy track, "Love Song,” draws heavily on techno and punk rock. Although they haven’t quite hit their stride as a cohesive trio on Hell.o, Stop Die Resuscitate certainly cannot be accused of making boring music — rap, electro, or otherwise. (Independent)