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After 1994’s criminally ignored Heavy Load, New Kingdom could have easily slipped through the gates and into one-hit hiphop hell where it’s always Hammer time. Instead, the duo of Sebastian Laws and Jason Furlow hit back with a record even heavier, denser, and louder than its predecessor. If Jimi Hendrix, MC5, and the Stooges got together to do a hiphop record it might approximate the skull-cracking intensity of Paradise Don’t Come Cheap. Or as Laws describes New Kingdom’s style on “Kickin’ Like Bruce Lee”: “Sweet song so badassed/I gots a bad habit/Blastin’ out my Advents/DAS EFX to Black Sabbath.” Laws and Furlow’s smoky, roughhouse voices sound as if their larynxes have been dragged through a gravel pit, and the tandem’s abstract lyrics take off where Ultramagnetic MCs and early De La Soul left off. “Animal was my favorite drummer,” Furlow barks on “Animal,” and he later succinctly characterizes his recombinant lyrical style, saying “My mind ain’t nuthin’ but a big old collage.” Case in point: On the stomping “Co-Pilot,” Furlow screams out a crazed dedication to ’70s child star Rodney Allen Rippey, though the song has nothing to do with the kid cutie. The acidic music and layered production of DJ Starchild is equally cut-and-paste, employing dirty R&B horns on “Mexico or Bust,” a Run-DMC sample on “Infested,” and dense, freaked-out guitar on every track. “Unicorns Were Horses,” “Valhalla Soothsayer,” and the crushing title track are all nasty neck-snappers for hiphop heads or heavy-mental art-rockers alike.
New Kingdom brings its lauded live show to the Black Cat with Moonshake and Ultra Bide Aug. 15.