Few hip-hop acts have returned from a decades-long hiatus sounding as perfectly frozen in time as Freeport, Long Island’s Son of Bazerk featuring No Self Control and the Band (Son of Bazerk, for short) do on this month’s Well Thawed Out, its first release in 19 years. Though recorded in recent months with Public Enemy DJ and producer Johnny Juice, the compact, eight-song release on Chuck D’s Slam Jamz label could be convincingly packaged as outtakes from the early ’90s.
That fact is even more impressive considering just how unique and bizarre 1991’s Bazerk Bazerk Bazerk, SoB’s only previous LP, sounded in its day. Conceived in the same laboratory and at roughly the same time as Ice Cube’s AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted, the album applied the Bomb Squad’s noisy kitchen-sink production aesthetic to a group conceived as a post-hip-hop soul revue with a reggae jones. From the perfectly analog-sounding “I Swear on a Stack of Old Hits,” Well Thawed Out picks up exactly where its predecessor left off, juggling a chaotic mix of tempos and genres (funk, R&B, classic rock), head-nod factor intact.
The group faces a tall order for its first area show in 18 years: warming up for Public Enemy. (Fun fact: Gravel-voiced SoB frontman T.A., a.k.a. Bazerk, introduced Chuck D to Flavor Flav.) Apart from a brief spell in the mid-’90s, this iconic act hasn’t really left the road in 23 years.
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01 I Swear On A Stack Of Old Hits
02 Ride With Me (Tobacco Road)
03 Let Me Tell You Who I Am
04 Bad Dreams And Hiccups
05 What The Hell
06 I’m Leaving
08 Turn Me Loose
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