Sunday, November 28, 2010


There's nothing rarer in hip-hop than the comeback album that actually lives up to the artists' past material. Usually we're happy if there's just a slim reminder of what once was to be found in what now is. But this is that elusive, mystical beast., just dropped at the end of 2010: Son of Bazerk featuring No Self Control's second album, Well Thawed Out.

It opens with their lead "single" (in quotes, because that's as close as I'll ever come to calling an mp3 or Youtube video a single) "I Swear On a Stack Of Old Hits." This captures everything that's great about Son Of Bazerk. Their energy, their signature voices, classic samples and ever-changing music and styles, the frantic craziness. It's nineteen years later, but this could just as well have been released in 1992.

And the rest of the album definitely holds up. The production is great, sometimes coming with old school samples which sound fresh and new when put through the Son of Bazerk wringer, alternated with all new samples and loops you've never heard before. And the whole gang is still intact... this isn't one or two guys trying to carry on the legacy of a bigger group. As they say on "Let Me Tell You Who I Am," it's still "three guys, four girls and a one man band." Johnny Juice is still cutting ("my DJ spins to keep the roaches from comin' in") Half Pint is still screaming. You never know what's going to come around the next bend: something slow and soulful, something rough and rugged, is the song suddenly going to stop in the middle for a silly gag? Will they rap or sing? Will they do a number where they hiccup through the whole song?* You never know what's around to expect, but whatever they hit you with, it always flows perfectly.

In fact, fuck it. I'm going to come straight out and call it: I think Well Thawed Out is actually better than Bazerk, Bazerk, Bazerk. It's more consistent and the highs are at least as tall as they were in their MCA days. Take "Stomp." I really don't see how anybody could not like this song, whether they're an old school head or hipster tween, underground purist or commercial fair-weather head, die hard New Yorker or someone who swears my west coast gangsta rap from the 90's. It just plays.

Now, this was mostly just released via mp3 (sigh), but there is a physical release, available from amazon. It's one of their made-on-demand CD-R releases made with CreateSpace. But really... is there any actual difference between the sound of this and a regular CD? I can't hear any. And it comes in a proper jewel case with artwork and label. The front even folds out booklet style (though there's not really anything in there besides the track listing which is already printed on the outside), so the only practically difference between this and an official CD release is that it's... cheaper. Well, that works for me. I couldn't be happier with a CD release or a comeback album than I am with this one.

*Yes, they will. That's on here.. ;)


  1. I will definitely put this in the catalog of albums to get because it sounds like they captured their old sound without compromising quality.

  2. Son of Bazerk live in NYC 12.23:
    This is their first full club set in 19 years.