High school bands are a funny thing. You either look back on them years later and cringe, or you become Silverchair or Paramore. Rigby Fawkes, from Little Rock, Arkansas, has the youthful exuberance and proliferate influences of a band in its early years. And though sometimes it’s hard to follow their musical train of thought, their eclecticism and adventurousness keeps things interesting. Flight To Fatigue starts off sounding almost like an emotive The Album Leaf track, but soon enough, the band jumps off into an ambitious, multi-rhythmic jam that sounds like System of a Down meets Ben Folds. There are many moments here, and none of them are dull. For a more cohesive sound, try Gloomy Rainbow where front man Daniel Moody loosens a croon on par with Muse’s Matthew Bellamy. It’s theatrical, percussive, sepulchral ¦ and excellent. Rigby Fawkes have lots of ideas and plenty of talent. Time and focus will only make them more incredible.
Like a lot of rappers out there, Brooklyn-born Wordspit didn’t grow up behind a white picket fence. With a drug-addled mother and a hustler/musician father, his childhood was anything but idyllic. Writing became comfort, then the basis for a career. But if your first introduction to Wordspit was Joystick Madness, you’d have no inkling that there were any skeletons in his closet. Eight-bit bleeps provide the back beat of the song, which is basically an homage to the arcade delivered at warp speed. It’s often hard to catch exactly what Wordspit is saying; his delivery is that fast. But when you do, you’ll be impressed by his knack for clever metaphors. As he wages battle with the joystick, his video opponents see stars like Hollywood Boulevard and lose energy like Enron. Come on, that’s pretty funny.
It isn’t until Chop Suey, a remix of the System of a Down hit, that Wordspit’s demons emerge. These are more than just words, he raps tremulously. This is my pain, my fight. For all the fast talk about video games and school day nostalgia, Wordspit doesn’t try to hide his depth. And for that he gets the high score.