The Brooklyn Way

by: The Lordz

Growing out like a fungus from the dark gray underbelly of the Lordz of Brooklyn, who issued a handful of sides that combined B-boy culture and a Brooklyn attitude in a hip-hop mix, each one more ambitious than the last, Kaves (Mike McLeer) and brother ADM (Adam) have gone deep into punk rock territory this time out under the shortened moniker of the Lordz, to issue a blistering set of original tunes with a host of collaborators including Tim Armstrong from Rancid, Everlast, Jaret Reddick (Bowling for Soup), and Bedouin Soundclash. This is punk rock that has more in common with early Social Distortion than the Strokes. It's decidedly Brooklyn, with attitude up-front, and a musical acumen to back it up. Check out "Rollin'," which cops the refrain line from the Yardbirds "For Your Love," turns it up to 11, and spits it out in pieces. "Brooklyn Way" lets Everlast and Kaves reminisce about the BK to an acoustic guitar, a crunchy drumkit, and a slippery, languid and rudimentary hip-hop beat. But it's the high, harsh guitars that set this thing apart from the many faceless punk band records that seem to pop out of the underground with alarming regularity. Here is street rock, punk rock, hip-hop, and street poetry jumping up and down on your eardrums without mercy, pity or apology. The killer version of Jim Carroll's "People Who Died," makes the track sound like it was written for them. "Soundboy," with Bedouin Soundclash, is a tad more subtle and spacy with rapping in the bridges and refrains with acoustic guitars alongside Eastern-tinged loops. "New York Groove" sounds like the Ramones chanting to a warped Bo Diddley beat. "Uh Oh" carries the same pedigree as Willy DeVille's Mink DeVille without Kaves or ADM having the voice to carry it, but the tune is effective anyway. Included in the package is a DVD that is the equivalent of a biographical photo album of the Lordz of Brooklyn. Recommended. ~ Thom Jurek

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