Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Crazy Town "Gift Of Game" (1999)


Listening to "That's Not Metal" Nu Metal podcast special had me curious about how bad a record could be. Back in the boom period of the genre, Crazy Town's "Butterfly" was a song you couldn't get away from and I have fond, humorous memories of my friends mocking the song and band. I didn't mind the song much myself but it occurred to me I have never heard anything beyond it. That single alone carried the record to platinum sales and given the podcast duos angry musings on how awful it was I decided I could endure a little punishment. Given my fondness of the era and tolerance for Rap Metal I got a kick from of the record that Id never expect of anyone else. Even if some aspects were enjoyable in the first half of the record, the lyrical obnoxiousness and cheapness dragged it to the gutter and once you've past the single track its clear the bands ideas becoming exhausting.

Before we get to the tripe it should be said that the guitar sound, despite being generic for the time, does have some punch and bounce about it. The occasional riff is able to muster some interest and the drummer holds a reasonable beat. I quite liked some of the experimentation with various influences, synthesized vocal lines, Funk and Disco grooves, effect washed acoustics. Unfortunately these reasonable aspects are dragged down by the frankly appalling front men Binzer and Mazur.

The duo's raps are a constant bombardment of cheap, sleazy, thuggish braggadocios. They sound like sex creepers as many misogynistic lyrics show they have very little regard for anyone but themselves. There attitude says lyrical gangsters, yet all the street talk comes of sour, a lot of hot air spat between blunt tongue cursing. Its trashy, the two have passable flows but their tones are nasal, sharp and repelling, word play is cheap and stuck in the past with obvious, simplistic rhymes often arrive to at a great stretch of the path.

The last few songs start to take on a Beastie Boys persona, throwing it back a decade with a sampling of the classic PSK, deploying a faster old school flow. Unfortunately the legendary KRS-One becomes a casualty, lured into the studio to get involved in the Metal Hip Hop crossover. Seems he drew the shortest straw, his presence is by far the best thing the record has to offer. Crazy Town represent the worst of Nu Metals corporate days. If there is a passable record here, its drowned by the nauseating presences of the two "rappers" and their self centered antics.

Rating: 2/10

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