This review was somewhat hard to write. Not because the album was bad, but because it was incredibly good. This album was hard to classify into a little category simply because it didn't belong in one. It isn't very often that new groups impress me, but impress is exactly what Industry Standard has successfully done.
Profound from Seattle and Meckeneck from Jersey joined forces while attending school in Massachusetts. Over the past six years, they have been sharpening their skills working on various projects. Including a four track EP released under the name Third Degree. In 1999, they come with a full length LP that is everything but standard. Joined by MC's Jaaman and Kado (literal brothers from Seattle), Genesis hailing from Fresno, Denetics and a couple of other guests, this crew is a great example of what can happen when East meets West.
What stood out the most on this album was the production. I was delightfully surprised at how tight it was. Meckeneck and Profound out did themselves by using a variety of live instrument samples to draw you into the mood of the song. My head was compelled to nod to the dark melodic beats while the varying MC's took turns making me process their verbal discourse.
After a short intro, "Elementary Blessed" sets the tone with one of my favorite Al Pacino lines from "Devil's Advocate". Scoring points in the first two minutes is a good sign. Accompanied by an erie piano riff (where the hell is that from?!), MCs Denetics, Genesis and Jaaman proceed to break it down nicely. "Through the underground/many have found/how to elevate the minds/ escalate the rhyme /captivating times".
"Kennetical Movements", which is the first single from the album, is another phat track that will flip your lid as Jaaman takes you from "the Northwest side to Babylon" daring you to "come and battle with the mic/ come and stand up". I have to say that all the MCs on this album have great delivery to accompany their lyrics. The delivery is clear is concise, which is important to those who like to decipher and dissect lyrics.
Even their interlude is worth mentioning. It was pretty damn funny how they mock the stereotypical son-dun persona who is looking for Spanish ass and leathers while some opera singer croons in the background. It was damn funny.
One of my favorite tracks is "Iamaini". Pure butta baby. The acoustic guitar gives that Desperado feel while Denetics blesses the track with lyrics like:
"I'm travelin through patterns of blind force/ predefined course/ it's all right if your lost follow the leader/ through the frost, due north, until we rediscover Eden/ or until we uncover scriptures deceiving/ I travel all realms, the burnin ash of my El/ give thermal reading's/ verifyin to my clients that I make it hot/ calm on this track, like lilacs, but wildin from the start"
"Pages" featuring Jaaman, Kado (aka Kenya) and Aeson is consistent with the ear candy throughout the album. The beat and the lyrics were the lick. "Eat a Banana" is another example of how versatile the production duo can be. A double-time drumbeat fused with symphonic violins and monkey calls sprinkled here and there. This ish was hot.
In closing, I have to say that this album gets better every time I listen to it. Mad props to Profound and Meckeneck for the production. It was tighter than a tube top on Roseanne.
Music Vibes: 7 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 9 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 8 of 10
Originally posted: October 5, 1999