Isosceles Sign Language

It's rather disappointing that the dramatic love stories, whether about hip-hop or women, are lost amongst the melodramatic instrumentals on this twelve-inch offering from the Vancouver, BC, trio of Shrmp Empirical, Boya D. Vivid and Sasafras. All three are equally responsible for these keyboard-heavy beats that run the gambit from g-funk light ("Got it Good") to cleaned-up RZA ("Revelationships"). What's really odd is that there is some great instrumentation throughout each and every song, courtesy of the trio's production and some live playing from a large cast of players. For example, Vince Spilchuk's guitar playing works hard to overcome the inadequacies of played out R&B vocals on "Got it Good," but the song only becomes the best track on the twelve-inch when Greg Edmunds's saxophone solo kicks in at the end. The Japanese vocals on the hook to "Revelationships" are refreshing, although they occasionally venture into J-Pop territory, and that brings some frightening nightmares forward. Still, they combine in a nice fashion with the sampled strings and live guitar. Which leaves "Sign Language" as the only big disappointment, held together primarily by the lyrics. The Isosceles have released a worthwhile twelve-inch, even if it does get a little overwrought, but once they learn to control the melodrama, many better things should follow. (Independent)