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Kill the Vultures

The Careless Flame

(Locust; US: 24 Oct 2006; UK: Available as import)

When Kill the Vultures frontman Alexei Casselle, a.k.a. MC Crescent Moon, sings that moonshine “goes down rough, but it’s good for your dime”, he might as well have been talking about his group’s music. Listeners who spend their dimes on the trio’s latest album, The Careless Flame, will find music that lurks in the dark corners of jazz, rock, and Asian music but calls the underground hip-hop scene its home. The Minneapolis-based Vultures depict their rust belt connection through sounds of decay, which include fuzzy beats and Casselle’s brash, coarse delivery. Some listeners will have trouble swallowing the group’s unsettling imagery and brutal production style, but no one should deny the power of the album’s provocative arrangements and evocative lyrics. “Dirty Hands”, “The Spider’s Eyes”, and “Birchwood” are highlights, but the entire album shines with a brilliance that seems almost ironic coming from such a ragged, low-fi outfit.

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