MUSIC REVIEWS: One Day as a Lion and Kraak & Smaak

One Day as a Lion
One Day as a Lion EP
ANTI Records

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One Day as a lion is Jon Theodore and Zach de la Rocha saying we don’t need anything but a keyboard, drums and a microphone to kick the shit out of you. They waste no time in doing so from start to finish on their 5-song EP out July 22nd on Anti Records.

One Day as a Lion is an ongoing collaboration between De la Rocha and Theodore in which they create a simplified, harsh sound that simultaneously showcase their voices. Theodore’s unabashedly aggressive style meshes perfectly with De la Rocha’s attacking vocal approach. Their arrangement sets the stage for a rhythmic and lyrical attack that holds no punches and brings it raw.

Zach de la Rocha is a better rapper than singer, but he still brings the rage when he uses his singing voice on tracks like Last Letter and If you fear Dying. By singing instead of rapping, he adds an elongated sustained element that contrasts Theodore’s fanatically syncopated drum lines.

Marc Amigone

Kraak & Smaak
Plastic People
Ultra Records

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Ladies and gentlemen! Hold your Heinekens high and toast Holland’s hottest vinyl-heads, Kraak & Smaak. In April 2008, K&S’s sophomore album, Plastic People, hit the UK’s electrofunk scene and set the Leiden-based group on a wave of success as smooth as the interplay of their trance-inducing tracks. Dance floor favorites like “Squeeze Me” deliver the sound we’ve come to adore while the group’s work on “Man of Constant Sorrow,” a tour-de-force of K&S-worthy beats, indian influences, and a heaping helping of bluegrass, demonstrates significant growth and sophistication. A tip of the hat also goes to Kraak & Smaak for punny track titles like “Bobby & Whitney.”

Now bottoms up and get yourself a round of Kraak & Smaak. The U.S. version drops on September 9th on Ultra Records.

Nicole Velasco

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