Choose Mics :: The Pre Album :: Formula Recordz
as reviewed by Vern Pitt

There is a lot of good stuff coming from the red island of Australia in recent years. Much like the poisonous animals that populate it, its relative isolation seems to stimulate Hip Hop evolution as they take the blueprint and morph it into new more deadly forms. Choose Mics would doubtless like a piece of that evolutionary curve to themselves.

They pedal a likeably brand of post-Kanye Hip Hop with punch lines and concepts a plenty. Rapper Haunts' accent is pretty unique sitting somewhere between Birmingham, UK and down under as it does. His switching between the different slang vocabs of his two homelands will certainly keep you on your toes for a few listens.

Producer Mules has a nifty if rather predictable set of samples in his MPC which will loosen any hip hop head's vertebrae. As you may have guessed already though, this really doesn't add up to much in the way of inspiration. It's not bad, but it's not terribly good either. It is possibly one step above totally bland.

The whole album feels like it's at least five years too late. Now that wouldn't be a problem if the quality was there to transcend that time difference, or take you back to a place an time. They succeed at neither.

Mules aims for a true school radio shine that fellow countryman M-Phazes does so well but it never quite comes together, either the drums aren't hard enough or the sample's too predictable. On some tracks you get one not the other, but you never really get both.

Haunts spends much of his time sticking so rigidly to the script of past masters that there is really no idea what he's all about. There are songs with cheesy weed references, songs about being broke, songs about being the greatest, songs about girls. If you're on this site you already have a shed load of songs about these things and you probably have a few that do it better.

Perhaps I'm being a bit harsh. If this is a stop-gap or work in progress then there is promise here. Haunts has solid delivery and Mules knows a good hook when he hears one, but there's no flesh on these bare bones. There's no reason why you shouldn't download it for free from their MySpace page and make your mind up for yourself. If you feel like you fancy a fresh dose of boom bap then this might be right for you, but if you've been listening to Hip Hop for a few years this unlikely to rock your world.

Music Vibes: 4 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 4 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 4 of 10

Originally posted: October 28, 2008