Promote This is a long-running NadaMucho.com feature wherein we write about emerging and unsigned bands. Send submissions to @nadamucho with hash tag #PromoteThis.
ASHES The Chosen – “Tears in your Eyes” and “Never Let them Break you Down”
Seattle-based MC ASHES. the Chosen confronts domestic abuse through three different narratives on “Tears In Your Eyes” in a way that is unflinchingly terrible. His predatory use of violence is dangerous because, while he appears to showcase different perspectives in order to provide clarity, his perspective is omitted entirely, leaving his message open-ended. What’s left is an extremely basic lyricist attempting to shoehorn social issues into a radio pop packaging but without any implication of self-awareness. This, sadly, feels like it’s the start of a fresh wave of post-Macklemore, faux-socially conscious rappers struggling to hop onto the bandwagon of half-assed attempts to provide a voice for the voiceless but, instead, comoddifying the victimized to compensate for their lack of original artistry. – Cameron Deuel
Listen to “Tears in Your Eyes”
While more even-keeled, “Never Let Them Break You Down” wields an aesthetic in place of substantial content. Here, ASHES confronts The Struggle™ by loosely blaming Obama and arguing that things aren’t getting any better socio-politically. Maybe, but toting half-baked protest slogans like “They will never win, ‘cause I will never lose” and “Flash your middle fingers ‘cause they’ll never understand us” isn’t necessarily the answer. I like the beat on this track, produced by Theophilus the Scholar, but ASHES doesn’t seem to be equipped with the correct language needed to critique the infrastructure of an entire city. This is essentially Kidz Bop meets the Occupy movement. – Cameron Deuel
Listen to “Never Let them Break you Down”
East Brunswick All Girls Choir – “Mon Repos (Charlie’s Jam)”
I understand the need to separate one’s self, vocally, from the army of folky Indie rock bands out there but I wish the East Brunswick All Girls Choir would have chosen the country western twang approach. Or maybe the gravelly Tom Waits model? Heck, even the screaming falsetto followed by whispered tones might have worked. But dear god please leave the Tom Yorke caterwauling to the experts, because the vocals on “Never Let them Break you Down” not only made me want to die they made it impossible to determine if I’d be in to this song otherwise. And I think I might. – TBASA