Denver's BLKHRTS describe themselves as M.O.P. meets Morrissey. A strong claim, but the union of the Mash Out Posse and Mr. Meat Is Murder does make for something noteworthy. Imagine the gladioluses that fans would drop at Morrissey's feet, only now getting bashed by lead pipes of M.O.P. Picture a trio of vowel-averse velociraptors rapping as if the phrase "he who makes a beast of himself, gets rid of the pain being a man" was tattoed on their foreheads.
Member King Foe described them as "a breath that you take the moment after the bungee cord is extended to its fullest extent jumping into the Grand Canyon." The words and beats hit like shrapnel, with samples from "Eraserhead," Matthew Dear and Joy Division's first incarnation, Warsaw.
They merge the crowbar rap of Brownsville with a disjointed post-Def Jux aesthetic. Their voices sound as if they’ve been slit with scythes. Denver doesn't have a subway, but somehow their songs rattle with the shuddering velocity of a train car going off the rails and killing dozens. It is rap as hard-core punk music that never forgets it's hip-hop.
Topic include sex, drugs, money and death, nightmares, demons and hearts pumping like the fury of angry slaves. At a time when the rap world is monomaniacally fixated on the throne, BLKHRTS play like a poisonous agent assassinating the tired tropes of fancy watches, foreign cars and esoteric concerns. After all, their debut EP, this year's "BLK S BTFL," examines a subtext similar to that of Jay-Z and Kanye's recent would-be opus: racial strife, temptation and gods and men. It's rap by mad villains, rawer than the fish that richer rappers feast on. Underground not because of a willfully obtuse aesthetic, but for its sense of subversion.
Tonight, BLKHRTS play the Low End Theory -- the ideal outlet for their helter-skelter assault. I asked BLKHRT Yonnas what their plans were for the rest of the year. He wrote a mini-essay, which might be a little overwhelming, but will give readers a sense of the man's work ethic. Below the jump, his answer and an MP3 from one of most exhilarating and asphyxiating groups extant.