Reverend McFly and Telli Gramz, two parts of one Ninjasonik, are known to stir up a solid ruckus live, but whatever wizardry they take to the stage is either impotent or absent in the studio: It’s hard to see what could possibly get anyone excited about their flaccid alloy of electro and hip-hop. Absent the rapidfire spitwads of Bushwick basement touchstones (Pabst, tattoos, skinny jeans) that no doubt helped endear their debut Art School Girls to the Street Carnage hype machine, the duo and a bevy of hired guns double their track lengths on No Swords or Masks to accomodate terrible singing and longer verses extolling the virtues of bathroom sex and themselves, among other things. Flashes of vocal dexterity show some growth in Telli’s MCing, but the Reverend remains mostly a fashion icon, and together they’re still dumb as nails, which the redemption raps of “Around the World” and “Gave It Everything” make painfully clear.
// Notes from the Road
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