Album Review: Sole & The Skyrider Band – Plastique (2009)
Review: 3 out of 5 Potholes
There’s something about Sole. Maybe it’s his unusual delivery. Perhaps it’s the odd eclectic sounds with drums that sound like they were just spattered over walls in a frenzy. One thing is for certain – the man is certainly one of Anticon’s legends who has certainly intrigued many. Not only with his solo albums, but also with group dynamics as well; many can take for example Deep Puddle Dynamics’ The Taste of Rain…Why Kneel? Now two years after Sole & The Skyrider Band’s self titled debut, they re-appear with their sophomore effort, Plastique.
Clocking in at about 42 minutes, this album definitely is a skyrider in terms of its texture. The production on it is basically its caveat – nothing sounds alike and it’s all very fluid for the most part. The affair starts once Sole’s vocals take center stage on “Children of Privilege”, where Sole raps non-stop for about the minute-and-a-half mark until the syncopated and stuttered drum deliver upon synthetic sounding violins. Lots of slow-tempo affairs come in the form of “Battlefields”, “More”, and “Mr. Insurgent”. Elsewhere on this affair you have the Skyrider Band freak-out on “Black”, which goes on for about seven and a half minutes. “Black” really makes you think why the Skyrider Band harnessed its energy for the disc’s duration.
That’s not to say most of the disc is bad. There are some songs which definitely have their worth on here. “Longshots”, for example, has Sole going on a self-critique extravaganza with a perfectly matched stark piano, whereas “Nothing, Pt. 2” is more so an exercise in buildup where Sole’s vocals are technically frantic. “Pissing In The Wind” is very much reminiscent of what the first Sole & The Skyrider Band’s disc first contained. And this track is probably the catchiest with its very measured vocals and far-out sounding snare, which sounds like a gunshot. But above them all, “Bait” is the shining star in this disc with its frantic drum-arrangements and mood-tinged organ notes.
As with most Anticon stuff, Plastique is not for the faint of heart. Most, if not all, of the diehards of the band’s first effort will definitely find some consistency with this project. But outsiders who are fairly unaware of Anticon or Sole will find it a little hard to digest. But regardless, the disc does contain a lot of clever subtleties in the production. And some of Sole’s raps will definitely catch you off guard and will more than likely provide for some thought-provoking and thoughtful lyrics. Also, a word to the wise: If you’re a new listener, hear their self-titled effort prior to getting into Plastique.