Kingman Brewster – Kingman Brewster

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With their self-titled debut, local hybrid outfit Kingman Brewster set out to show that rap-metal can still work, but results are mixed. To KB’s credit, theirs is a gritty, guitar-laden sound closer to vintage Rage Against the Machine than the genre’s lesser artists. Veteran MC Nonsense brings a commanding presence and a number of solid verses; none better than on “My Mind’s Playing Tricks.” But more often than not, the group’s rap/rock contrast clashes rather than coheres. The music is simply not a good match for the MCs. The songwriting also needs work: the hooks have a palpable clumsiness, and the conceptual tracks like “Simple Plan” and “Miss Right” are so simplistic that there hardly seems a point. Though not without its strong points, Kingman Brewster is an unmistakably awkward debut.

–Conor Hooley