Collaborative, psychedelic ‘brew’ has little potency
Published: Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, February 8, 2012 16:02
The ayahuasca brew is a concoction that induces a psychedelic trip to the drinker for the long side of a couple of hours. Much like this beverage, the newly released album from Gangrene titled "Vodka and Ayahuasca" delivers similar hallucinogenic feelings for a full 41 minutes.
The album, released on Jan. 24, is a collaborative project with Beverly Hills-born rapper The Alchemist and rapper Oh No.
"Vodka and Ayahuasca" reaches out to the more unconventional hip-hop audience. If you've ever listened to Jedi Mind Tricks, or more than five popular Wu-Tang Clan songs, you've practically heard "Vodka and Ayahuasca."
The album begins with the psychoactive drink of ayahuasca being brewed.
The album's first full-length track "Gladiator Music" starts off like one would expect of a gangster rap song with heavy samples and distortion producing a rich sound.
The next few songs deliver the psychedelic message just as strongly.
With the same heavy sampling and distortion, the lyrics and flow of each rapper are extremely similar to Wu-Tang Clan.
After the song for which the album is titled, "Vodka and Ayahuasca," the album begins to fall off in terms of sound.
The song "Dump Trucks," while still containing the same elements that make the other songs good, for some reason is just not. Samples and heavy sounds in the background over dump truck noises every so often just bring out a bad performance.
The song "Top Instructors" boosts the album back as easily one of the best songs on the album; the beat is simple and not cluttered with unnecessary lyrics. But as the album continues it just fades off into mediocrity.
The last four songs are not memorable and do not stand out enough to end the album strongly.
Anyone who considers him or herself a fan of The Alchemist, Oh No or unconventional rap should listen to the album, just not with high expectations.
The memes spread throughout the album, getting drunk, doing drugs and busting the occasional "cap," don't get tiring necessarily, but in no way, shape or form is it groundbreaking.
In fact it slightly fades into its own category.
The moment an artist decides to stop producing a message from the heart and soul, and produces one for profit, is the moment they can be called a sell out. While Gangrene does not sell out on this album, which is normally a plus, it can almost be seen as a weakness in this case.
The duo has made plenty of music similar to this, only this time on heavy amounts of hallucinogens.