premiere: trouble in the streets breaks all the rules
By Nathan Leigh
May 13, 2019
Austin electro-punks, Trouble in the Streets, spend their sophomore EP, Rule Breaker, taking the collection’s name extremely seriously. It’s a four-song set that defies genre conventions and album expectations, while crafting surprisingly beautiful odes to defiance.
The EP opens with the dense atmosphere of the title track, and singer Nnedi Nebula Agbaroji wielding a confident swagger. Throughout Rule Breaker, her voice changes between neo-soul croon and punk-rock edge. Nowhere is this clearer than on “Chasing Whatever,” where an anthemic chorus gives way to razor-sharp verses. But it’s on the EP highlight, “Mad Science,” that the band lets loose, capturing the energy that makes its live show so thrilling. Over heavy drums and distorted synths, Agbaroji leans hard into her Rage Against The Machine influence, saving her talent for stratospheric melodies for the song’s climax. “Mad Science” is the kind of song you need to take a minute and wind down from, so the chilled-out vibes of a cover of “Pure Imagination” is a welcome breather. (Yes, that “Pure Imagination”) It’s always a risky move to rework such an iconic tune, but the band pulls it off like so many rules broken. As with the best moments on the EP, Trouble in the Streets takes a surprising left turn where another band might stay the course — and it pays off.
Trouble in the Streets is bringing their special brand of trouble to a street near you on their upcoming tour, starting with a performance at the famed Joshua Tree Festival this weekend. Full dates are below:
MAY 16 – Joshua Tree Music Festival
MAY 20 – Los Angeles, CA: Echoplex
MAY 22 – Los Angeles, CA: Silverlake lounge
MAY 24 – Los Angeles, CA: Fais Do Do
MAY 25 – San Diego, CA: WinstonsOB
JUN 1 – Austin, TX: One-2-One Bar
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