[6 January 2009]
The problem plaguing upbeat and fun hip-hop has always been that it walks the fine line of being painfully corny. To be perfectly honest, that previous sentiment can be applied to all music, from rock to jazz. But with rap, it’s different, primarily because emcees are supposed to mean-mug their way through even the most club-ready bangers.
Putting that mentality aside, however, is Metermaids, a pair of rappers who share that feel-good vibe heard on Gym Class Heroes records. And like GCH, Metermaids spit over live instrumentation about trials and tribulations of everyday life while looking on the bright side and mixing in a bit of braggadocio. Although they aren’t stellar on the mic and drop a few duds here and there, emcees Swell and Sentence keep the party moving with their playful and competent rhymes.
On their debut, Nightlife, they have tendency to fall into the trap of crafting weak hooks, which are a death-sentence (no pun) for a group like this. Even though tracks “Risk You Run” and “No Matter What” wouldn’t be fantastic on their own, the played-out and dull choruses unfortunately steal the show. Luckily for Metermaids, though, there are plenty of joints to be proud of. The title-track is what a John Carpenter-hosted party would sound like while “Come Home” is pop defined. And be sure to check out the funk anthems, “Funk Terrorist” and “Good Times”, guaranteed to get some booties shakin’. If you happen to be in the market for a catchy and fun-loving cocktail of rock and hip-hop, then this is the album for you. Just don’t expect to have your mind blown.