Written by Ken Chee Foong
Amazon trio Injury Reserve have come through with their latest project, a seven track EP called Drive It Like It’s Stolen.
In a recent Pigeons & Planes interview, Parker Corey the producer for the group stated the group’s sonic ambition of ‘constantly mak[ing] something that’s weird, but also that sounds cool.’ The project has a very moody and dark aesthetic to the songs which compensates the album cover very well.
From the first song TenTenths it is clear that the group has succeeded in accomplishing their goal. Glitchy rhythmic percussions cover the overall production of the heavily Pharell influenced song as well as some purposefully monotoned verses from both Stepa and Ritchie, with Stepa having a robotic filter on his voice. The song’s verse abruptly ends around the 1:40 minute mark whilst then going full instrumental until the end of the track. Overall, even though there are many interesting ideas that go into it, they’re not fully developed and leave the track feeling unfinished.
91 Cadillac DeVille is the third song of the EP and is probably the only song that was very underwhelming even though it features the group’s famous jazz rap influence. Nevertheless, strictly sonically it was not catchy enough for listeners to stay focused on the song.
Boom (X3) is the third lead single released off of the EP accompanied by a music video directed by the talented Parker Corey. The song features a very distorted bass along with some beautiful piano lead that fades in and out as the kick hits creating a very glitchy feel to the keys. Ritchie with a T provides a very energetic hook as he screams like a mad man in this song. The verses from Ritchie and Stepa show obvious improvements in their word play and flow as both have quotable lines with the latter having very clever usage of the word scene in different context and meaning. Ritchie also has a funny series of bars talking about ghostwriting questioning why its a hotly debated topic when even the legendary song Boyz-n-the-Hood by Eazy – E was written by Ice Cube himself.
Colors is another introspective song just like North Pole as they explore the issues of racism and racial inequality that are beautifully tied in with a colour based theme. The astroturf line is another moment in the album where it is extremely obvious that Ritchie has stepped up his verses.
Chin up (Outro) takes a personal dive with both Ritchie and Stepa having extremely inspiring and motivational verses as they talk about how they found success and encourage their listeners to chase their dreams. However, for such a personal song it lacks a strong ending even if it is the outro of the EP.
Overall, this project isn’t the best release of the year but it is just an EP where some of Injury Reserve’s best material is displayed alongside an unfortunately few tracks that are just a little bit underwhelming. However, if you are a fan of the group’s previous work do not miss out on this project.
You can check out the stream down here, accompanied by some amazing visuals credited to Ian Valentine:
Credit: Injury Reserve