Marijuana Deathsquads (Feat. member of Polica)

Marijuana Deathsquads (Feat. member of Polica)

Marijuana Deathsquads are comprised of multiple drummers, a slew of electronic instruments, and highly effected vocals, their live shows are a violent onslaught of improvised electronic-hardcore. They began as a side-project of Building Better Bombs, which is why all members of BBB are also in Marijuana Deathsquads. Their live shows, as well as studio recordings, feature multiple colaborations with a ton of outsourced musicians. This results in a constantly evolving experience, teeming with spontaneity and surprise.

So the Portuguese have this saying: saudade, a single word that summarizes an entire state of being, a lingering sense of longing for lost love and sepia-toned snapshots of yesterday. The way Solid Gold sees it, saudade might as well be the subtitle of their second album: Eat Your Young, a slow-burning set of skittish synths, glassy beats, ripple effect riffs, and melancholic melodies that leave you wondering what left a trail of scar tissue deep within the group's core trio (frontman Zack Coulter and multi-instrumentalists Matthew Locher and Adam Hurlburt).

Eat Your Young creeps across your speakers like a quiet storm, ebbing and flowing at every turn, from the exorcised demons of "The Pendulum" to the bookending outbursts of "Shock Notice" and "In the Hollows." All of which sounds incredibly confident despite the record's shades of darkness. That's because Solid Gold spent years developing their musical and lyrical concepts, beginning with their smoky club formation at the University of Wisconsin—Locher and Coulter were in the same architecture class—and becoming much more of a serious pursuit once the group moved to Minneapolis and tracked their 2008 debut, Bodies of Water.

"Our instrumentation ranges from crude to classic," adds Locher. "All of us operate within those parameters. The best way to describe our songwriting process is 'atomic'—electrons trying to rip themselves from a nucleus to recombine into new forms."

Maybe that's why Eat Your Young brings to mind everything from the gleaming skyscrapers of Blade Runner to the dimly lit streets of a midnight drive. Or as Locher puts it, alluding to the band's push and pull dynamics, "Dystopian futures, wrought with oppression and rich with struggle, just seem to fit our sound best."

Greg Grease

The best hip-hop albums don't settle in the mind easily. And Greg Grease's Cornbread, Pearl, and G kneads that stubborn gray matter into improbable new shapes on every track. Though the Minneapolis producer-turned-rapper directly recalls what his father played for him on Lizzo-assisted "I Still Love H.E.R." — Busta Rhymes, A Tribe Called Quest, and Slum Village — this dense masterpiece never sounds like an imitation of any of them. Or Outkast, or the Roots, for that matter. Instead, it carries on these innovators' tradition of intra-album, heck, intra-song revamps. Don't get too hung up on one rhyme scheme or a particular beat, because Grease re-plots his course frequently, while never sounding lost. Be it the sun-kissed park imagery on "Summer Saturdays" or the rapid-fire flow of "Cliches" ("Conversation done changed up/Had to switch my game up/Not the same as these lame ones/Competition don't play much") or the confident head-nodder "C.R.E.A.M Dreams," it's hard to believe this guy ever rapped about being on the wrong side of a glass ceiling. By Reed Fischer, City Pages Music Editor

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