Themselves CrownsDown

Themselves CrownsDown
Themselves return to their rap roots as a more mature Them with a tiny touch of their later indie rock rap flirtations. Dose's melodic rapid rap flow opens "Daxstrong," his touching tribute to Subtle co-founder Dax Pierson (a paraplegic since the sextet's 2005 tour) but the song ends with a show-stopping sing-along joined by 13 & God band-mates Jordan Dalrymple and Markus Archer, while Dose returns to his cLOUDDEAD sing-song style for "Deadcatclear II," a childhood narrative about looking after a dead cat's corpse. And "Roman Is As Roman Does" is an industrial rap attack on mp3-traders with traces of Buck 65. Dose also borrows Kool Keith's Ultramagnetic flow for "The Mark," with a rare and admirable vocal appearance from Jel, then pays respect to his producer on "Skinning the Drum," with a live MPC performance by Jel, assisted by an auto-tuned Dax, they give a modern rap spin to "You Ain't It," their attack on fake rap kings. Themselves may not have snatched the crown but they've certainly thrown down the gauntlet with CrownsDown, their confident and comfortable return to the royal rap court. (Anticon)