Low Budget Affiliates The Damage Is Done

While individual members of Edmonton’s Low Budget Affiliates have had some solo success, they’ve finally come together like Wu-Tang for their debut crew album. The Damage is Done is a varied collection of solo songs and posse cuts over dark but still slamming production, sitting somewhere between a grimy New York underground sound and funky space rap. The six-member crew, composed of MCs and producers Add-Vice, Balzac, Chazmo, Chris Plus, Max Prime and Nato, are diverse enough that their production never becomes repetitive, while the style, flow and subject matter of each MC is definitely distinct. LBA set the bar high with the first vocal track, "214 Years Later,” a massive posse cut that also taps the talents of ex-member Conspiracy and close associate Touch, but only come close to that quality again with the old school-influenced solo track "The Descent” and the creepy "End of Days.” While those tracks are by far the best, The Damage is Done is a good record from front to back and demonstrates what makes for a good crew album. It’s just a shame they didn’t include more information about themselves in the sparse liner notes. (Busshaak)