“Scott’s beats sound like how it would feel like to get blasted in the face with an air cannon while standing in space under neon lights while still respecting the architects.”
Naturally after reading that, I readied myself to be bombarded with otherworldly sounds mixed together in a chaotic fashion, kind of like the initial feeling I get when I experience a Jackson Pollock painting. After all, if the PR guy was going to mix random metaphors that mean nothing to describe what I’m about to listen to, I might as well prepare myself for the unique experience.
As it turns out, Tone Tank and Scott Thorough are different. Different is a neutral word in this context, I’m not saying they’re good, I’m not saying they’re horrible, they’re justâ€¦different.
First of all, the production style of “Scott and Tone” is mostly stripped down concoctions with an emphasized drum line and a lot of 80s electro synth. Scott Thorough doesn’t follow conventional thinking when he’s crafting beats, he’ll bring up different combinations of samples and sounds seemingly at random, stir and boil, and throw it to Tone Tank to rap over. And Tone Tank’s voice, it’s like a splice of MF Doom and a New York guido with a slight drunk slur. I’m using such ridiculous metaphors because that’s how it truly sounds.
The album opens with “Kiss the Pyramids” featuring Serengeti, with loud bass and snare popping next to a machine-gun synth rhythm. The beat gets repetitive as hell if you try to isolate it, but as a backdrop to Tone’s rapping, it works a little bit. Tone’s lyrics are what you’d expect from this non-normal release, spitting lines like “I’m drivin’ a Charlie car chariot pulled by flyin’ American pit bulls” and “Hey there Mr. Fancy Shoes, I aint dress like you I’m more comfortable in work boots”. The one knock I have with Tone Tank’s rapping voice is that it’s so slurred that I can’t understand some of what he says. Couple that confusion over what he’s saying with a stupidly annoying chorus (a voice-mod of Tone Tank repeating “Scott and Tone”), it’s not the strongest opening to an album. It does set the tone for the rest of the way, and the EP picks up steam in “ASC V3.3”. Scott Thorough puts together a simple creation that promotes a light hearted tempo and gets Tone Tank to get even more creative with his lyrics:
“I’m from La-la-la-la-la-la-long Island
I’m from Bruh-bruh-bruh-bruh-bruh-brooklyn
First I’m a New Yorker and that’s all you need to know
Got an autobiographic graphic novel in the flow
Yo Lets leave the (slur) and get some press passes
I roll like Warriors, rockin denim vest jackets
I actually turned (slur), I had a shaved head”
The few words you can actually make out turn out to be some pretty dope lines that entertain you. I mean, as a showman, I’m sure Scott Thorough is aces full of on-stage presence and charisma, but in the studio, it’s really hard to figure out what the hell this guy is saying. But, like ODB, it’s not as annoying as it should be. In fact, it’s actually kind of good. I’m not saying Scott Thorough is the next Dirt McGirt, but he does deserve a closer listen in order to really enjoy this CD. I mean, the EPâ€¦it’s different. It’s not awesome, it’s not horrible, it is just different. “Plastic Gangsters” picks up the tempo and probably has the cleanest rhythm in the entire EP. “Crack Selector” brings out Kool AD of Das Racist and is probably Scott Thorough’s best work on the EP with a Jamaican style beat that takes samples straight from Kingston records.
You have to give this release some time to sink in. I personally thought that this CD was trash until I gave it a few more spins, and it turns out, Scott and Tone aren’t just pushing buttons at random and talking shit over drums, they’re actually putting out a product. And what they put outâ€¦it’s different, but it’s not bad.