Published Feb 26, 2016There is a lot to like on the new, self-titled EP from Vancouver's Brevner. As an MC, when Brevner is on, he's compelling, all half-sung/half-rapped bars and casual, slippery delivery. When he tries his hand at singing outright, as he does on "Jane Doe," he's compelling and likeable. He's not so good you'd want a whole album of it, but you're definitely glad it's happening.
The production is equally interesting, ranging from the trap-meets-vaporwave of "Jane Doe" and "All We Know" to the industrial rap of "Chico" and "Count.Money.Smoke.Weed." Also, frankly, as West Coast Canadian rap has traditionally been typified by guys who sound like they gargled gravel while rapping a Dungeons and Dragons manual, it's great to see a Vancouver MC who's not that.
The problem is, there's also a lot to dislike on this album, as well. Too often, Brevner's "casual" slips into "dull and disinterested" — on "BNE," for example, he sounds downright sleepy. The features from U.S. artists are also pretty disappointing. King Louie's appearance on "Count.Money.Smoke.Weed" is solid, but Riff Raff's leftover word salad on "Jane Doe" is a particularly ugly mark on a strong track. (He rhymes "shark" with "shark.") Project Pat's appearance on "BNE" isn't quite as bad, but it's not good, either.
Overall, Brevner is a wildly inconsistent outing with some exciting highs and really confusing lows. There's enough good here, though, to show that Brevner is an artist worth watching. (Urbnet)