indie rapper busdriver’s new lp is totally insane. in the best possible way. #soundcheck

September 2, 2012

The dubstep that’s all the rage these days has a lot more in common with house music than with the dub it claims descent from. Enter Busdriver to show the kids how it’s done. A mix of hip-hop, alternative, reggae, synthpop, and of course, dub, Busdriver’s latest Beaus$Eros is batshit insane and totally overwhelming. And if Busdriver’s past eclectic output is any indication, that’s exactly what he’s going for.

He puts on an array of characters, singing, rapping, and just plain ranting over jittery wobbly synths and dub percussion. Subjects range from satire of clubbing culture (“Ass to Mouth”), underground music (“Picking Band Names”) and a genius deconstruction of racism (“NoBlacksNoJewsNoAsians”). Busdriver’s idiosyncratic style jumps from idea to idea and sound to sound faster than you can keep up, but rather than being alienating and unapproachable, the fragmented ideas are exhilarating. Busdriver seems to cast off more good ideas in the span of a single song than most artists have for a whole album.

Like label and touring-mate Open Mike Eagle, this is probably not for everyone. Lead single “Utilitarian Uses of Love” has a seizure-inducing video that seems designed to weed out anyone who isn’t up for a journey to the center of Busdriver’s absinth-fueled mind. But this is an adventure worth taking. Often inspired, and never dull Beaus$Eros (pronounced “Bows and Arrows”) is one of the most unique and fascinating records of the past year from one of the most unique and fascinating artists out there.
Busdriver will be on tour this fall. Check his website for dates.

– Words by Nathan Leigh