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Fucking Transmissions, Begin Transmission

CD Review

All too often, rap-rock assumes the worst of both genres. Songs like "Fight for Your Right" and bands like Limp Bizkit blended rap's lack of melody with punk and metal's leaden beats, resulting in sludge. Happily, Tha Fucking Transmissions sound anything but muddled. Opening salvo "Boogie Woogie" and "Knock Em" builds from a politicized chant about deprivation at home while billions of dollars vanish in Iraq into a pummeling rant worthy of Bun B and Pimp C at their angriest. Synths and acoustic-guitar accents bathe "Mama Said" in a warm glow as MCs Cornbreadd and Hodge sigh in resignation at the state of world affairs; on "Pop My Trunk," the rappers salute fallen local heroes Fat Pat, Big Hawk and DJ Screw. Not that it's perfect. The repetition of "Dirty Birdy" gets annoying, as does the bad fake English accent on "Microsoft Body." And overall, Begin Transmission feels less like a finished album than a demo. The drum sound needs work, and some horns would help. But the Fucking Transmissions have the hard part down: their rap-rock fusion that is both highly melodic and joyfully rhythmic. Call this mélange of U.G.K.-style Gulf Coast funk-rap and highly rhythmic modern rock "trillcore."

 
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