Tuesday, July 8, 2008

MC Lars - Radio Pet Fencing

Radio Pet Fencing was indie nerd rapper MC Lars' first album that he didn't release by himself, and the last before he dropped "Horris" from his moniker. They had to stop selling it because they didn't have the rights to the samples used, but Lars put it up on his site for free anyway, although it's since been taken down. It's pretty lo-fi in places, with simplistic beats and a pretty basic vocal flow usually. Still, Lars' smart lyrics, unusual song topics, and musical creativity make it more enjoyable to listen to than you might expect. His ability to string together rhymes seamlessly isn't as natural as many stronger rappers, but there's still plenty to get out of even his early work. It's not even all rap, with "Mr. Wormsly's Addiction" being a pretty good rock instrumental.

"Hey That's Me" is the standard self-focused track, although the subjects of his bragging, such as a high SAT score, are a bit nontraditional, and includes samples from various kids' comedies. "Yes I Am an Alien" is another clever song, with a chorus that would later be reprised in The Graduate's "Space Game". It has a nice mix of rap and indie rock elements. "Certified" is a pretty long track, with cool instrumental elements and excerpts from some sort of bizarrely uninformative video warning about the danger faced by infants. "Rapbeth (Foul is Fair)" is about a play by Shakespeare with a chorus that anyone should be able to recognize. "Sarah" is a very personal-sounding song that still manages to be very entertaining, and "Escape From Robot Island" is a funny, catchy track, including guest vocals from one of Lars' friends who tends to mumble since he can't really rap as fast as he tries to. I've seen Lars live twice, but both times he performed more recent songs, so it was cool to hear some of his earlier work.

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