Earthquake Institute Audible Rollercoaster

Mean Street has a pretty good track record for albums they've put their support behind, with only a few exceptions, but most often they've released music by artists who have established a pretty solid following in the underground hip-hop market (Shapeshifters, Awol One, and Mikah 9, for example). Then suddenly the Earthquake Institute, a relatively untested group, rumble out of nowhere. Would their Audible Rollercoaster twelve-inch be one of Mean Street's few exceptions? Anticipation. And accomplishment. The Southern California duo of Spitball and Simon Sez co-everything the three tracks on this single. "Audible Rollercoaster," an extended metaphor of rhyming as the popular theme park ride, is slow to start but does pick up. The bass line is familiar but catchy and the spacy sounds and lyrical content barely hint at the Kool Keith/Dr. Octagon influence on these two. It's when they explore the farther dimensions of the hip-hop universe on the B-side with "Science Friction" that the single really blasts into hyper drive. It's a less spacy beat that somehow sounds more sci-fi than the A-side track, due to some vocal distortion and a few cuts. Spitball and Simon Sez kick "tall tale" science friction sexcapades about "this test tube dude" and "DNA criminals." There are instrumentals for both tracks, which should be plenty used by DJs, and a finale track, "Magnitude," that is just a quick DJ outro. However, "Science Friction" is definitely the payoff on the single, and Mean Street has once again improved their track record. (Mean St.)