Misc. Day – River Rat

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2015 was a magical year for underground hip-hop and the genre seemed to be stronger than ever with artists emerging from nearly every surface under the sun. The American underground scene was buzzing with long-standing artists at the gates while younger audiences looked on in awe to see how these shackles of industry were being broken every day. As Bones hit his 11th posted project to SoundCloud alone, HermitOfEastGrandRiver was a sullen backdrop on something truly transformative and magnificent.

Much of this record is frightening and holds an aura of mystery behind it. HermitOfEastGrandRiver is this creature that stalks in the night through the woods and acts almost as if it was an urban legend. The opening self-titled track produced by Greaf is a nostalgic glow that induces more heightened fear than comfort. The soft crackling of vinyl that is surrounded by these humming voices holds control like a séance in the night over the listener. As a first introduction to the piece, “HermitOfEastGrandRiver” sets this tone that is nearly impossible to replicate.

When the record finally kicks off with “TheArtOfCremation,” Bones is a reserved but collected apparition on the track. This shadowed manifestation is able to silently show a personal touch, but it is a cold, skeletal hand that reaches out to the listener. Bones explains, “Tired of the motherfucking hold up, I touch the world and it froze up. Promise I never care, promise I never will. Give a fuck about if they know us, that never meant a thing. Give a fuck if you’re listening.” But importantly, the versatility of Bones and TeamSESH as a collective is the most impressive as one moment they can be snapping limbs off of people like they are trees, and the next creating mesmerizing works of art.

The transition to “Cholesterol” makes for a closer stance to love with Vegard Veslelia on the production that opens up more of an emotional spill from Bones. The way that HermitOfEastGrandRiver is such a volatile record and is utterly terrifying one moment then surprises the listener with this gentle side to the monster is necessary. These different sparks that Bones throws in throughout the record and he does this once again towards the end of HermitOfEastGrandRiver on “LakeviewCemetery” might be one of his most elegant displays on a release at this time.

“If I should off the edge of the world, I’d crawl my way back to you” describes Bones through this funeral of an instrumental. Bones is almost inaudible as he just barely whispers over the morning fog into this void on HermitOfEastGrandRiver. His work is capturing and even through the nine-tracks stretched over 19-minutes, Bones breaks the VHS tape to create a static overlay that blurs his image but only just enough to make out that there is still a human inside the frame.

Listen To HermitOfEastGrandRiver Here!!! – Soundcloud/Spotify/Amazon/iTunes

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