Conceptacons Word Is Con

For their debut, Conceptacons open properly with an intro that grabs you by the balls with a mix of hard drums, metal guitars and some frantic cuts by guest DJ Eternal. They follow with "Audihydrates,” an electro-fied b-boy jam that’s simple but infectious. Helmet’s heavily-synthesised production on these first two tracks, and on much of the rest of the album, keeps the album moving and should be used more often. The songs that work best are all produced by Helmet: "Censor This!” is an anthemic sci-fi horror, "Survival” is a jolly carnival ride and "Conceptacons” is a murky funk beat. And certainly the intro and "Audihydrates” belong on that list too. Group members Blake and Pope also contribute production, as does Green Walls el presidente Savilion, but they are often at odds with the sound the Conceptacons cultivate over the rest of the album. Savilion’s beat for "Black Out” may be yet another of his masterpieces, but it’s just not as raw as Helmet’s simple, lo-fi b-boy funk. "Cruisin T Dot,” a Pope instrumental that is also one helluva smooth ride. The Conceptacons are capable and confident rappers, but its fourth and final member Navi who stands out most with a flow that wouldn’t be out of place on a Shapeshifters album. While all four practice the basic foundation of rapping (aka bragging), it’s mixed with enough quirky stories and what-if scenarios to keep it interesting. A head-nodder for nerds. (Green Walls)