Earthworms | Bottle of Bourbon (F5)

cd_earthworms.jpgEarthworms manage to successfully avoid the sophomore curse by keeping up the momentum and sticking to their real strength.

 

 

 

 

 

St. Louis hip-hop group Earthworms are back with their sophomore release Bottle of Bourbon. Hot on the heels of their first album No Arms, No Legs, Just a Head and a Body, Earthworms manage to successfully avoid the sophomore curse by keeping up the momentum and sticking to their real strength: smart lyrics delivered with a natural cadence.

As opposed to a mainstream-radio sound that embraces the easily memorized chant lyric, Earthworms’ rhymes tell a story just obscure enough to allow any listener to relate, equal parts disassociated themes and sexual innuendo with more than enough local flow to keep even the most scatterbrained individual focused. "We’re the writers and we’re writing your songs," they scream on the opening track "The Great Escape."

But while the lyrics weave tales, it is the album’s abundance of massive hooks that really speaks to audiences, inviting even the least rhythmic listener to throw up hands and follow the bouncing beat. Mathias, Kama, and Black Patrick spit hooks big enough to catch sharks and drop jaws. Add to that combination the pulse-modulated precision of DJ Mahf’s scratches and producer Jonathan Toth From Hoth, shake vigorously, and serve in a Collins glass for the perfect mix.

The Earthworms take full advantage of DJ Crucial’s lush and diverse background of beats for their follow-up release. Despite the album’s staggering 67-minute run time, the 17 tracks flow seamlessly from one to the next. It is a perfect representation of F5 Records’ sound, and a style that seems unique to St. Louis. Of course, a host of notable guests are featured on the album, including local favorite Steve Ewing on "Get Up!"

The final verdict: Come for the distinctive beats, stay for the free-flowing lyrics, get off on the infectious hooks. A- | Josh Vise

RIYL: Kool Keith, Danger Doom

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