So if you don’t know by now PKG is my crew in Philly. We do everything together including business. We opened up a studio recently. It’s dopeness. Here’s some more details.
This was a review by the Miami New Times for the AlukarD project I was a part of. If you don’t know of AlukarD it was this weird, rock, punk, hip hop thing I did with Level from Miami and a bunch other Sweet Water hooligans. They’re great peoples and it was by far the most fun I had with any of my experimental projects. To check out the AlukarD project you can go to the link below.
After a seemingly endless heyday, rap-rock eventually became one of the most reviled musical artifacts of the end of the last millennium. But it’s been more than a decade since then. Fred Dursthas disappeared from everywhere except Twitter, and critical darlings such as Cage are starting to rhyme over guitars again. So the timing of Miami band Alukard’s debut full-length, One Shot, seems fortuitous. To lump it in with the crappy nu-metal-with-scratching of two decades ago, though, would be seriously wrong.
First, there is no DJ in Alukard, and the group’s style is more diverse than one might initially expect. The band members have dubbed it “305 rock,” and it’s a punk- and hardcore-fueled brew that still occasionally dabbles in ska, acoustic balladry, and even a touch of New Wave. Over all of this, a twin attack of MCs seems to barely control and egg on a joyous chaos.
One Shot is clearly the product of much labor and love. Released on the band’s own imprint, Labeless Records, it’s clearly conceived as a total package, an anomaly in today’s download-by-track music landscape. The disc weighs in at a for-these-times hefty 15 tracks, complete with an intro and an outro with a hidden track. The best ones are the most balls-out. Songs such as “44 Kaliber Love Letter,” “Molotov Cocktease,” and “The 5th” hinge on furious blasts of guitar stops and starts that crescendo into epic choruses and breakdowns; it’s the kind of thing you would want to listen to before an MMA bout.
The real stars here, though, are MCs Level and E. Grizzly, who have something Durst and company never had: quality rapping and flow. Level, aBrooklyn native who also plays rhythm guitar for the group, is particularly skilled, able to switch among Zack de la Rocha-style incantations, a soaring melodic croon, and a half-grizzled bark. (With that last voice, he would do well as a hardcore frontman.) Grizzly, meanwhile, hails from Philly and boasts a serious Northeastern flavor, floating in and out of the mix to keep the energy level maxed out. The band, too, is surprisingly tight; lead guitarist Stuntman Steve especially shreds, with a few searing, thrash-worthy solos.
Things occasionally slow down on One Shot, with a pseudo-love song in “On Our Way” and a strummy flight of stardom fantasy in “Just Maybe.” These are perfectly adequate but unnecessary: Alukard is best with its levels at 11. Hipster music this ain’t, but the band’s audible passion and dedication to its hometown might win you over in spite of yourself.
This was a show I did a little while back with AlukarD on the Jagermeister Tour. We were opening for Pepper and Pennywise at Janus Landings in St. Petersburg, FL. This was the biggest show I ever did at the time and there’s definitely a huge energy difference between performing in front of 100 people and 1,000 people. You can feel it. I’m not to sure what’s the scientific idea for feeling energy from a crowd of people but it definitely exists. If you look at the first pic closely I’m the guy on stage underneath the “A” in Jagermeister. You can see the happiness in my lil face.
This was an art show I did with Kazilla and Multiversal for Art Basel in Miami. If you never heard of Art Basel it’s a big art festival in the Miami art district. At the time me and Candace Meyer were feeling a little ballsy and decided to rent a giant warehouse in the art district just because. We called our warehouse the Grey Area. Kazilla was suppose to do her art show at SOHO, which is another giant warehouse, but that didn’t work out so we teamed up with her and did this impromptu art show that lasted 4 days and had thousands of people in attendance. We prepped this warehouse for 36 hours straight with no sleep. The only people who lasted the whole 36 hours was me, Kazilla, and Lu Diamondz so they get forever props for that. Check out Kazilla at kazilla.biz. She’s always doing awesome shit.
So if you know your Miami scene history you might remember Black Sheep Bar on the Beach. And if you’re really good you might know it used to be The Laundry Bar. I’m not to sure what this venue is now but this was a collabo set I did with Alukard, Candace Meyer, and Korpus Kounty. We were opening up for Canibus at the time. He actually rocked the crowd too so it was definitely a classic night in Miami.