Energy within music is something that cannot be achieved artificially, it relies entirely off the desire to create and destroy within the realms of instruments and vocals. With Injury Reserve, their newest self-titled record Injury Reserve is an in-depth look at just how irreplaceable a hydra of sound can be.
The triple threat of producing, rhyming, and kicking ass, Injury Reserve quickly jumped into the realm of this strange, but bombastic group that nestled almost perfectly to fit a niche performance. Their production is almost always a bent arrow that somehow finds an approachable path and they are these geniuses of improvising along the production where beats and vocals can mix and master perfectly. Injury Reserve as a record taps back into that sense of internet rhyme schemes that balance along with a redefined sense of performance.
The last track is actually where Injury Reserve as a collective band together as a working tricycle that is headed by fulfilling instrumentation. These swells of horns as they blare along to Ritchie with a T who performs the opening hook that can somehow manipulate the memories of the listener to those blacktop days after school. Beginning simply, “This remind a nigga of high school, no repercussions for the shit that I do. Check it, yo. My biggest worries were missin’ a free throw, now me, Groggs, and P doin’ the three-man weave, though.” It is just the perfect way to end a 38-minute journey over 13 tracks.
Truthfully, Injury Reserve was always stepping over these boundaries to obtain what felt immaculate through innovative senses of style. The three heads work better than one as the opening track, “Koruna & Lime” has this build up of swirling synths that becomes this creeping instrumental. It bounces along as rhymers start to stack up with Stepa J Groggs, 1/3 of the Injury Reserve colossus describes, “Seen a couple shitty deals that we had to decline, primo shit, better get the three in the prime. From Flagstaff to Czech, getting’ checks, Koruna and lime.”
Faithfully in their past work, Injury Reserve was always able to balance this clever sense of lyrical ability while rhyming over sporadic instrumentals. On their self-titled, the basis is the same where instrumentals like “GTFU” or even one of their singles “Jailbreak The Tesla” can use this banging sense of aggressive, but speeding ways that connect and intertwine throughout the record. At every aspect, Injury Reserve can balance and juggle these plates of tension that continue to build until the final moments where the mosaic falls into place.
That is what makes “Three Man Weave” feel as if it was a keystone that holds every little detail into place. It combines the love for these abstract beats that float between bar heavy lyricism, capturing, in essence, the child-like wonder of how approachable music can be. Injury Reserve shows these moments of pure ignorance toward the boldfaced attitude, but then they show times where the human interest behind their sound is what makes their records just so engaging and interesting. As the sunsets on their self-titled, Injury Reserve hits a deep three and can pull their own rebounds too.