Add Blue Distortion to the list of “journalists critiquing his first eight bars.” The Fast Cars, Danger, Fire and Knives EP is Aesop Rock’s latest addition to the independent label Definitive Jux’s ever growing collection of mind expanding, eclectic hip hop. We can continue to hear Aesop progress into something new and fresh, following closely to the electronic and obscure sound of Bazooka Tooth. While there are only 7 songs on the EP, it includes an 88-page book highlighting all of Aesop Rock’s lyrics from Float to Fast Cars. The phrase “Now it takes a dancing bear jumping through flaming hoops to even make em buy the god-forsaken single!” from the Daylight EP comes to mind.
Aesop Rock produced tracks 3, 6 and 7, Blockhead rocks on 1, 2 and 4 and Robic Sonic lays the groundwork on track 5, “Winner Takes All.” While all of them have different styles, the whole album flows very well together. All of the songs on this album are very interesting and well put together, but, a few of them truly stand out. The 2nd track, “Number Nine,” starts out with a robotic voice sample that slowly fades into a funky beat, quirky TB-303 style melody and warm synth work. This has to be my favorite beat by Blockhead on the album. The following track, “Zodiaccupuncture,” is another highlight of the album, it’s hot. Sick beats, great samples (even including some electric guitar) and a very confident sounding AR.
On track 4, “Holy Smokes,” Aesop offers a greater insight to his ideas about religion, specifically growing up as a part of the Catholic Church. “I’m more science than faith, I’m more karma than bread and booze. I’m not an asshole, I’m just a little confused.” He covers many ideas and points surrounding this ‘agnostic front’ slowly taking ahold of the younger generation. Blockhead laces great samples and synths into the track as well. Track 6, “Rickety Rackety,” is a high energy, big beat track with funky drums, a head nodding (or maybe bobbing) melody and double-time rhyming. It also features great appearances from CamuTao and El-P. CamuTao just kills it on this song, with the perfect voice to compliment Aesop and El-P.
“Frankie says relax, 20 says he snaps”
Another interesting song on the album is the closer, “Food, Clothes, Medicine.” Aesop Rock, in my opinion, is tackling the issues of the war machine, neglected veterans and dazed soldiers head on. “Hawk on cash, bank on wars,” is part of the chorus which is one of the best I’ve heard from him since Nightlight. However, I could have done with out the samples of the women getting pounding like meat being tenderized. As with every Aesop Rock album, it grows on you with each listen. If you listen in headphones, you’ll hear lots of obscure sounds in the background which is always a treat