Sitting in my living room with nowhere to go and I don’t feel guilty. New Year’s Eve 2020 blends in directly into New Year’s Day 2021 and aside from the fireworks outside around and on my lap, the transition is almost seamless. No changes, still just another day but at least everyone around me seems hopeful for a better tomorrow. That feeling along is somewhat infectious. 2020 left us with a slew of amazing music and after going through hundreds of releases myself – pandemic or not – I was left in awe.
With the past week flying by in a bit of a blur, I wasn’t left hopeful for much because we’re usually left with a few stragglers with missed releases that leave us all a bit surprised. I’m not even certain as to how bands like Muck And The Mires escaped me. The band, hailing out of Boston, Mass released its latest offering Greetings From Muckingham Palace (Dirty Water Records). Maybe it’s the liquor coursing through my body right now but the unabashed punk fervor the quartet delivers here is pretty alluring. Given, what they’re doing may not be as original as you may think but ignore that for a moment because the band is having fun from track to track. Loud guitars, quick sputtering harmonies filled with catchy melodies, the band makes a punk-enthused racket without relinquising any pop aesthetics it may have counted as influential. “Too Soon To fall In Love” is on constant repeat just for that reason.
Some people get things, others just don’t. There’s a fine line walked by artists who aren’t able to nestle themselves into conformability within mainstream culture; there’s normalcy to deliver something different and quite… unique.
I’ve come to grips with R.A.P. Ferreira as one of the last of a dying breed. His prose and delivery allow for characteristics to be distinguished from all others. Many know him as the artist who has performed and released material as MILO and Scallops Hotel but since his last Purple Midnight Pages, has opted to release material as Rory Allen Phillip Ferreira. His sophomore release – his 7th full-length overall which doesn’t include his 10 mixtapes – bob’s son: R.A.P. Ferreira in the garden level cafe of the scallops hotel (Ruby Yacht) is in fact a piece of artwork that sets the bar for those that follow this year.
If we all focus on the musical backdrops on bob’s son, Ferreira’s love of jazz and free-formed music is the obvious go-to here and it always fits perfectly alongside his words. Sounds enable visualization while his delivery and lyricism leave much to individual interpretation for the abstract artist. He opens with “battle report,” featuring the likeminded Pink Navel, which sets the tone and mood of the release and repeats the same melody but never remains repetitious, allowing the allure of its hypnotic thick beat. but it’s “the cough bomber’s return” that has my mind intensely boggling. The track takes the same route but then transforms midway into something quite different, as the bassline drives it into a different direction changing Ferreira’s vocal direction. The heat is felt through speakers and computer screens all around!
The beautiful “yamships, flaxscript” has Ferreira moving in varying directions, but flowing seamlessly with its constant watery motions. He shares vocal duties with SB The Moore on “redguard snipers,” possibly one of his most conventional numbers, at least for the first half anyway. The melody allows both emcees to ride clips of hidden ammunition and volley perfectly against one another. That is until the beat collapses and shifts its mood morosely. Ferreira milks it for all its worth and we’re all the better for it.
I’m certain I’ve gotten way ahead of myself considering it’s only the first day of 2021 but like a Floridian nationalist I stand my ground behind my words of bob’s son: R.A.P. Ferreira in the garden level cafe of the scallops hotel and its level of standards it has reached. Prove me wrong.