Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Year of the Dragon lay down party-friendly, non-angsty rap-rock

May 6, 2010

Year of the Dragon’s Blunt Force Karma is extremely entertaining because of what it doesn’t do. The rap-rock that they espouse doesn’t take itself seriously at all, but they resist the urge to make parody songs. Instead, they write serious music with a “let it all hang out” attitude that makes it fun while still loose. The vocalists especially sound like they’re having a genuinely good time.

The whole album lacks the disaffected anger that characterized rap-rock, but it still rocks. “Who Will Save You Know” has excellent riffing and a stomping break. “Poppin'” has a deliciously explicit chorus (“why in the F*** are you takin’ me there?”) that you will want to holler along with. “Bailout” lays down some heavy funk that is irresistably head-bobbing. “High Times” has great guitar work, melodically and rhythmically.

Like I said at the top, this album is entertaining. It doesn’t take anything too seriously musically, even when they’re cranking out top-notch riffing and laying down lyrics on serious topics. You can slap this on a party and people will enjoy it. But if you sit down and listen to it, it has things to offer there as well. It’s really versatile, and that’s impressive. Definitely worth your time if you like modern rock.

Stephen Carradini and Lisa Whealy write reviews of instrumental, folk, and singer/songwriter music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.

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