October 31st, 2016 | 8:30AM | By Chad Snyder
Philly’s E. Grizzly is no stranger to expressing anger through his music, but on new album Felipe Pupo, he’s got a lot more of it to go around. The album was initially conceived as a punk/reggaeton collaboration with friend and musician Jason Pupo, but just as they were about to begin work on it, Pupo passed away. Grizzly was understandably distraught when a project that originated from a place of joy becomes a friend’s obituary, and he channeled that into the music.
The anger and sadness is reflected in the album’s bitter, unhinged vocal performances and hard-nosed beats. On paranoid opener “The 3rd Day”, he tries to come to terms with the ghosts of his past as they keep him up at night. This sense of paranoia carries over into highlight “Crabs in a Bucket” where he calls out anyone “talking shit behind [his] back”.Throughout the album, crunchy distorted guitars compliment these bursts of emotion and amplify them, but on closing track “Rest in Piece,” all of that is stripped away in favor of sentimental acoustic guitar.
There’s a ton of variety here, and it all comes together to create something Grizzly refers to “Synth Calypso Punk”. If that sounds like something that’s up your alley, Felipe Pupo is available now to stream and download via his Bandcamp.
The US alt-hop creator E. Grizzly in collaboration with Scott Labenski released the LP Felipe Pupo on the 20th.
The approximately fifty five minute – thirteen track album, threads across stages of calypso, metal hammer and hip-hop with each piece offering something different. Whilst, as a result, each piece can be played in isolation – allowing Felipe Pupo to run its course finds the listener having been taken on a wide reaching journey with the different ideas that appear during the course of the album and more fully appreciate the conceptualisation of the release and thereby providing the complete context.
My pick of the release is the fifth – Crabs In A Bucket which brings in many themes from Felipe Pupo (which is available on bandcamp).
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So if you don’t know the story I was supposed to do this project with my good friend and bassist Jason Pupo. We wanted to do a live set that was the most fun possible. We obviously went with a Synth Calypso Punk set. We were talking about it for months and a day before our first practice Pupo passed away. This project was on the shelf for a while but then fellow anti hero, Scott Labenski, came through and nailed the whole idea. It came out sounding like english reggaeton punk which I’m totally down with. And even though Pupo is gone he is still very much a part of this band. Kind of like phantom limbs he is our phantom bassist. Which puts this project in the middle of reality and some where else. So to Scott and Pupo. We finally finished it. Congrats! And remember 2 drink max before shows. The online release shows will be in Seattle and Miami. The physical release show will be in Philly. Details coming soon. Happy Dia De Los Muertos!
Directed by Jay Brisbon of Philly Kid Studios. Produced by 1994! Props to No Heroes, Nah, PKG and everybody else who helped with this project.
So this is the new video I did with Ronin of RA-NYC.com in Brooklyn. Make sure to check him out. His art and video is sick. We decided to release this on Vimeo because the past few weeks I’ve been the target of some serious professional hacker sabotage. Not to sure who would go through such measures to delete my videos on Youtube and my e-mail accounts on G-Mail but hey, maybe it’s a positive. And of course Vimeo doesn’t have the right HTML for WordPress but it’s all good. You can click the link below and I’ll be posting this on Tumblr, Facebook and a few hip hop blogs already have started posting the video. I appreciate the love. Always.