Red Ants – Omega Point
Use a spoon to dig out the microchip under your right eye and hack a government database before they find out that the blip you correspond to has disappeared from their radar. Then rejoice that the Red Ants are back with what might be their last album (for a while at least). With news of Modulok and Vincent Price not getting along these days in our recent Red Ants interview, they may not be together when the mysterious legend Predaking gets out of jail to rejoin the group. Hopefully that’s not the case, because the new album, Omega Point, is strong and booming.
While it’s a rather short album being only nine tracks long, Vincent Price’s polished production delivers quality over quantity. It combines well-placed sci-fi and horror sounds to make every song cinematic. It would be easy to compare his production to a better-known producer famous for his futuristic slant (the founder of Definitive Jux), but Vincent Price has his own interpretation of drum mastery, with more up-beat tempos and marching breaks, reminding you of an army of, say red ants, about to swarm and attack an entire city block. As soon you reach the chorus of “Psychic Dictatorship”, your imagination gets abducted by climactic trumpets placed just right.
Modulok himself delivers his signature war torn and government conspiracy inspired battle raps with a conventional flow and inventive lines. He says things like “The road to nowhere … it leads to me.” and “I live an a basement. It’s a terrible mess. A cluttered mess of magnetic tape and metal boxes, haunted by an evil spirit, but caught it. Now it sits in a little jar all alone, giving dirty looks to the girls that I bring home.” He combines techno-babble with cleverness, but not in a perplexing way. He chooses to use a more anthem-like cadence than one too fast for the listener. Other than rapping about evil dictatorships, the grim fates of his old acquaintances, and his own psychosis, one of the coolest concepts he drops is on the song “Versus”, where different essences of feeling clash as one trumps the other. It starts out with ‘pleasure’ being the most important feeling in life, which is then destroyed by ‘pain’, which is then trumped by ‘love’, which is finally undone by ‘nothingness’.
Now there’s no doubt Modulok is putting his brain to use on the writing, his raps however still may not be for everyone. He comes across with an atypical accent a friend of mine described as distinctly Canadian. I would describe his voice as that of a chain-smoking dirty wu-ogre. His raspy and muddy vocal inflection may turn off people who prefer clear delivery and a more charismatic voice. I personally don’t mind it that much, just knowing something this raw and underground is coming out of Ontario Canada. Plus I appreciate the originality that it brings.
Better Than: Atoms Family – Center of da web
Worse Than: Cannibal Ox - the Cold Vein