Weerd Science - Friends and Nervous Breakdowns
By Mark Hensch
Upon hearing that Josh Eppard, the drummer
of a favorite act of mine, Coheed & Cambria, was creating a side-project
called Weerd Science, I had to check it out. I was even more eager to hear
the album, Friends and Nervous Breakdowns, when I heard it was going
to be a hip-hop record. Now totally intrigued, the thought of Josh laying
down rhymes over beats had me somewhat excited to review something a little
different for me: the hip-hop album.
Despite my excitement and the fact it was
something a little abnormal for me to listen to, Friends ended up
falling down the stairs and flat on its face. The tunes spun here by Weerd
Science are both annoying and compelling; annoying when it sinks into mired
convention with repetitive beats that you could find on any hip-hop album,
useless profanity, and most importantly of all, the tired hip-hop idea
of self-absorbtion. On the good side, Weerd Science has some interesting
samples for every single boring beat; subject matters like politics, paranoia,
the working class, and poverty, all get time in the sun, and there is the
tiny fact that Eppard is a surprisingly adept rapper.
Despite all this, the positives are mobbed
and overcome by the many negatives. The weird beats of songs like "In a
City with No Name" (palm-muted goodness?), "Conspiracy Theories w/ out
Mel Gibson" (Tripped Out hop?) and "*uck you and your filthy A&R Department"
(warp-speed hop?) are displaced by the self-possessed whining of tracks
like "Ordinary Joe (WCH)" or "Blueprint." At times the lyrics border on
rapped emo hysterics, and combining emo and hip-hop sucks as much as you
might think in real life like it appears to on paper. Most interesting
is how little seriousness Weerd Science treats itself with. Songs like
"Girl, your Baby's Worm Food" or "God Bless Pepsi" may be firmly tongue-in-cheek,
or fully serious in their subject matter. Regardless, I highly doubt that
even the most devoted hip-hoppers will be blaring hip-hop odes to cola
or songs with refrains of "Girl, if you're knocked up by my homey, I'm
gonna punch you in the stomach" anytime soon. I also doubt hip-hoppers
will even accurately appreciate the surprisingly clever dual-voiced conversations
of a tune like "Blueprint." It also is doubtful non-rap fans will appreciate
a largely mixed bag of clever ideas and tired stereotypes; Weerd Science
is as likely to rap about guns and cities and bitchy chicks as opposed
to government conspiracies, the power of family, and overcoming childhood
Regardless of everything, this vanity project
runs the thin line between novelty and legitimacy. I really am not sure
how to place this CD, I have a feeling more albums are needed to see how
an act like Weerd Science paints its own legacy. Right now the picture
is pretty fuzzy; I'd recommend Eppard doesn't stray too far from Coheed.
However, if another Weerd Science album is absolutely in the cards, here's
hoping for less thuganomics and more paranoid ranting, raving, and condemning.
Science - Friends and Nervous Breakdowns
2. Conspiracy Theories W/Out Mel Gibson
3. My War, Your Problem
4. Ordinary Joe (WHC)
5. Girl, Your Baby's Worm Food
7. In a City with No Name
8. God Bless Pepsi
9. *uck You and your Filthy A&R dept.
10. Joshua, They're Laughing at You
11. Super Friends
12. How to be a...
13. The Sitcom really really isn't all
14. Methods 'n Test Tubes
15. Kill your Rapper
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