It’s been a while since I’ve written any reviews, so I’m just going to ease into it with this. I figure I’ll start with some relatively small releases, things that might have gone unnoticed if they hadn’t been sent to me, then get into some bigger ones in a couple of weeks.
I’m also going to take a moment to write about my favorites of 2015 here. I realized while I was narrowing my podcast list down to a top fifteen list that the entire idea was really unnecessary. A non-ordered “favorites” list like last year’s seems more honest since I haven’t even listened to every nerdy release that came out this year. Therefore, I’m reversing my decision to narrow the list and just sticking with my favorites for the year. I’m toying with the idea of returning to a “Best Of” style list for 2016, but with a specific list of somewhat more “objective” criteria. But we’ll see what the year brings.
And with that, let’s get into some newer releases and start the year off on a positive note!
Kordlyss – Not the B-Sides and The B-Sides (NSFW)
First up is Kordlyss, whose work I was only sort of aware of through his role in Alpha Riff’s Digital Champions as Ravager (and that’s only on one track as of now). I saw Not the B-Sides making the rounds on Facebook and was planning to check it out when he sent it to me. Noticing there was also The B-Sides (which of course makes sense), I went ahead and gave it a listen as well. Both are worthy additions to your music player of choice.
I’ll start with Not the B-Sides since that’s the one Kordlyss sent me. I can totally identify with “Safe Zone” about a couple staying home together rather than going out with others. That pretty much sums up exactly how my wife and I are, and we love it, too! “Dumpster Divin’,” on the other hand, is very far from my experience. But it’s a funny track nonetheless; actually, it’s very clear throughout both albums that Kord has a good sense of humor. A couple of other great examples of that are “Jesse Ventura,” which isn’t so much about the man as it is about weird conspiracy theories, and “Die Dihydrogenmonoxide, Die” (feat. Vincent EL), which rails against how horrible water is. And of course pokes fun of the whole “chemicals are bad” nonsense.
The B-Sides also has plenty to love. Take “Showman,” a typical “I’m better than you are” rap with a chorus that rather belies the rest of the track. Or there’s “auntie cavity (weirdnight) i’m exhausted,” about, well, a weird night and going to the dentist. No, I don’t really know the connection, either, but it’s a rather interesting track because of it. I’m particularly fond of “#TwoVersesandaHook” since I’m a huge fan of Community. It evens embraces the meta nature of the show.
You should definitely check out both of these releases; they’re actually completely free over on Bandcamp so you really have no reason not to! His other stuff is free as well; I’ll be listening to them, too, though I probably won’t post specific reviews of them.
Various Artists – The Organic EP
This release is more in the indie hip-hop category than nerdcore, but as I wrote recently, I’d like to start including some more “nerd-adjacent” stuff here. The track that puts this EP into that category is “Seppuku” by Primordial Emcee and Iron Wind. While we’re waiting on Prime’s new album, X-Faction 2: Reanimated, he’s been keeping busy with collabs and other projects. This track features Prime in a lyrical battle against Iron Wind with a nice, chill beat. A similar track is the closer, “Cypher Uppercut” by Super Ego and Bent Halo. This one even has a Street Fighter sample in it. So, the EP definitely has at least a bit of the nerdy element to it. The other four aren’t necessarily nerdy but, hopefully, like me, you’ve come to appreciate good hip-hop no matter the subject matter.
Anyway, it’s another completely free download, so go grab it as well!
Mayor Wertz – Midnight Movie EP (slightly NSFW)
As a lover of bad movies, I knew I was gonna love this one as soon as the good Mayor (formerly known as MC Cool Whip) sent it to me. It even includes a track about one of my favorite bad movies, The Room (which I am kinda obsessed with; if you’ve never experienced it but are a fan of bad movies, you really should. And if you have, you should also check out The Disaster Artist by Greg Sestero (OH HAI MARK!). It’s amazing!). Like the other two, it includes music from the movie to help set the mood. Anyone who has seen The Room will know what the title, “How’s Your Sex Life?” refers to.
I actually haven’t yet seen the other two movies that have songs on this EP, though they’re both in my queue, so to speak. “Friends” is about Miami Connection, a movie I nearly saw riffed by Rifftrax live, but unfortunately, the satellite link failed due to bad weather (I actually don’t remember why I didn’t go to the rebroadcast, but at least I have a copy thanks to backing the Kickstarter). And the last is yet another movie that many consider to be a “best worst” movie, Troll 2 (“Oh My God!”). I’m really surprised that I haven’t yet seen this one since I’ve been aware of it for so long.
If you’re already a “fan” of these movies, you should definitely check this out. And if not, well, then, maybe you should be. Or maybe the music will somehow inspire you to go watch them. Yeah, OK, probably not… You just go and enjoy your actual good movies, then, you bad movie hater.