Last week one of my illustrious RapReviews colleagues dealt a pretty scathing review the way of "Evil Is... Vol. One". I haven't managed to listen to Volume One (nor do I particularly want to, having read that review) but I can imagine what was written about it to be true. Murdercore can be pretty boring – there may be a million ways to die, but do people really want to hear them chronicled on wax? Here we go: murder, rape, self-abuse, ripping out lungs, blah blah blah... Just on the value of hearsay alone, the second volume must surely appear to be an improvement – although the topic matter is really quite repetitive, in addition to the topic matter being really quite repetitive, the execution of the really quite repetitive topic matter is actually pretty good (geddit?).
This bubbly bunch of psychos and murderers would surely have been locked up by now, were it not for their ability behind the production boards and in the booth. There are some pretty decent MC skills on display here, intermittently dotted around the album – the album opener from Walter Molder (no, me neither) is pretty impressive, both lyrically and conceptually. Why? Because the MC has injected some humour and wit into his raps – unfortunately, few others appear to have followed this blueprint. Mars pops up to deliver a (melodically-speaking) hot chorus: but do I really want to hear him croon "Sometimes I cut myself open!" over and over again?
Goodness knows what the executive producers of this compilation were thinking by allowing a song such as "Someone's Being Crooked" by Bloodshot – the production is average (whereas most of the album is pretty tight), the MC is uninspired and the chorus is migraine-inducing (somewhere in the world, the offices of Paramax must be rejoicing).
There are one or two songs here that could enhance a Grand Theft Auto soundtrack, and certainly some worthwhile efforts in their own right – just when you think the LP has passed the point of no-return, up pops track 13, "Repeat Offenders", by Trajik (featuring G-Beanz and Project Born). Finally, a song with interesting subjects (by now, listening to someone rap the recipe from a can of Coke would be more interesting than more murder) as Trajik and company get political.
But that isn't even the point. Look, let's be honest here. If Murdercore really is your thing, then I think you would enjoy this compilation up to a point. Past that point of freshness, it would, again provide solid background music as you slash your way through an ultra-violent video game. However, it is my solemn duty to the ever vengeful Gods of music that I at least TRY to point you in another direction – one filled with more hope than despair, more living life than decaying death... If I can't convince you, then fuck it – you'll probably like Volume Two, knock yourself out.
Music Vibes: 6 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 4 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 5 of 10
Originally posted: July 31, 2007