AudioSketchBook (October 5, 2010)
Review by Matthew K.
Turn up 2ManTrio…LOUD. Right from the jump this EP from the west coast duo sucks the listener in with some smooth and synthy sounds that are best experienced at a high volume. The production value of this short album is at a level comparable to any veteran group. Almost as if contributing to the melody of the instrumentals are the clear and assertive vocals of Caps and Sundance. The vocals of this lyrical tag-team come off as those of two experienced and knowledgeable emcees. With successfully executed changes in rhythm, pace and tone throughout this 5-track preview, they set the bar substantially high for whatever full-length project may follow this release.
2ManTrio’s stellar showing of both production and emceeing in Rocket Surgeons is not without some shortcomings. The first three tracks are outright bangers – and they do well at being just that. And dang it, they’re just flat out fun (nothing wrong with swag once in a while, right?). What was disappointing was that by the end of third track, it felt like they had yet to really reveal who 2ManTrio is. What was clear at this point was their sound; what was yet to be heard was their voice. The group finally revealed itself to the listening audience in the fourth and fifth tracks, “Thinkin Back” and “Give Us Free.” The former is a more heartfelt recollection of the artists’ journeys through times of trouble while having to be at the same time a loving husband and a devoted family man. The final track almost makes the purchase of this EP worth the cost all on its own. “Give Us Free” is a kick-drum laced tribal-sounding track as a myriad of voices, including the sounds of Myka 9, Sojourn and Pigeon John, speak on the many images and hindrances of freedom. This track truly does take the listener to a different world, offering up some devastating truths of the freedom some don’t have in life. There is much to be taken from this track and is open to many reinterpretations upon multiple listens…good thing it’s also one of the slickest tracks you’ll ever hear.
2ManTrio seems to have come out of the woodwork with Rocket Surgeons. While this is not a full-length release, they certainly do themselves a good service with such a strong showing in this teaser. With exemplary production value and solid vocals and lyricism, this is a duo that shows much promise for the future. With a little more focus on establishing for themselves their own unique style and direction, they will undoubtedly carve a niche for themselves in the genre that they will not have to relinquish for quite some time to come.
For fans of: Grits, LA Symphony, Applejaxx, west coast hip hop
Purchase CD – download – iTunes