Oct 19, 2007 - 1:24 PM
The album also has a retro feel. Spacious 70’s soul grooves are paired with edgy hip-hop, salsa, and rock beats. Intricate horn lines are set against a thick, layered rhythm section. And the three MCs bring witty lyrics with a variety of styles in English and Spanish.
Jairo Vargas sings with raspy soul and raps at light speed (“Now look, I’m still at it / mind it we’re old fashioned / flashin’ with passion a Latin who’s still stackin’/ reminisced on their resistance / the bane of my existence / I insist my persistence will embrace my linguistics”). MC Jun brings the hardcore (“on the two-four block / scraps get shot / for wearin’ kahki pants, blue shirts and white socks“). And MC Dreese has a strange charisma and a unique delivery that makes almost everything he says sound funky as hale (“All you hot mamacitas, all you savage desperados / hits colossal / sucka free spittin’ game like the gospel”). And, he can also rap abstractly while still leaving a fairly definitive statement (“Last call for narcotics / come and get it while it’s hot / you got the goods – shit that’s great / get that cake / move that candy / too much dirt gon’ burn out your tranny”).
Vocal themes are woven through the album as well. They’re always on the grind. They’re 'Sco-livin’, sayin’ fuck the haters, paper chasin’ and tryin’ to get you to shake that thing. And by using lyrics in different parts of different songs, it keeps things fresh and accessible. It’s not that they’re just saying the same damn thing. It’s more like they’re sample themselves. A little bit of a chorus from one song makes it into a verse on another. Or a line from a verse is sung soulfully as a background vocal on a different track.
The musicianship on the album is also extremely impressive. Every song is heavily orchestrated and long. At 4:03, “Primo” is the shortest and most straightforward track, despite thick horn riffs and subtle turntablism. The rest of the album is even more complex and lengthy. Dripping with middle-eastern melodies and a relentless crescendo, “The Rush” is 7:12 long.
Songs “Dias,” “La Kancha,” and “World Wide Hustle” are even split into two tracks because the grooves are so obviously different. They’re like musical mullets: down to business with hip-hop and funk up front and then salsa party in the back (for the ladies).
Most of the cuts have multiple grooves and fancy intros. “On the Grind” has the regular hook and rap section you’d expect from a hip-hop track – it sounds kinda like “Big Pimpin’” with a funky horn section. But then the feel shifts into a double time that seems to echo classic rock as much as hip-hop.
And it’s all possible because the band can really play. Sax man Buddy Dude and guitarist C-dot take blazing solos in a number of different genres. There’s also some hot salsa trumpet and wicked piano breaks.
As with anything that gets intense, there are one or two cheesy lines on the disc. But if you listen to the hidden track at the end of the disc, you’ll know that the Bayonics don’t take themselves too seriously. They’re just bringing the grit the best they can.
Overall, it’s a funky and eclectic album that goes well in almost any setting. The Bayonics first disc represents the Bay Area almost as well as they claim to.
Visit www.bayonics.com for more info.
Sam Devine is a contributor to Oh Dang! and will eat your children for a nominal fee.