Dissident patriotism meets jokes on jingoism on the new Breaklites album I ♥ America. Their latest kicks this cold snap in the ass with synth snares that hit like whips crack, and those strung-out g-funk keys will make you wanna throw on a tank top and rock shorts and tube socks.
Dudes have been on a streak since way back in 2011 when they came into their own with Robots and Daytons, the album that saw them settle into their funky, funky ways. Particular strengths on this album are MC Cruel's ability to not only rap, but to stick to the damn theme while doing so. In this case the theme is America, and 'Merican attitudes that make it great from 'love it or leave it' to 'we don't give a shit'. Keys and guitar work on this album are gassed and heavy as american muscle, and consistently thrilling throughout from "Fill It Up" (with drugs) to "I ♥ America" (in spite of all her faults).
Unless you're completely ignorant to wackness, it can be pretty difficult to be a band full of white men who also rap, but the Breaklites do it well, keeping it cool as horchata and undeniably west coast all the while. Tacoma cats are known to be grimy—what with being trapped between that interstate and polluted ass Commencement Bay—and you can hear it listening to The Breaklites rap, but it never jacks their vibe completely. Struggle makes strong in the pioneering Northwest, and they stay positive in hip-hop ("We're only killing killers") and never fall prey to the paranoia genre trap—that level of imagined adversity from which many failed bands have tried to rap. Murk your own seasonal affective disorder by downloading it for free, enjoying the full spectrum of "Lites", and planning that spring roadtrip now.
The Breaklites have an album release show at Jazzbones in Tacoma on Saturday Jan. 11th. I've seen them live though, and would like to see them in the 206, too.