The Arizona trio excel in soundscaping the future of American rap, whilst defying genres and collaborating with some of HipHop’s most contemporary artists.
‘Experimental’ is a word that gets thrown around too frequently, however the debut album of HipHop group Injury Reserve is this in abundance. Combining trap textures with heavy, industrial techno, the self-titled LP explores classic HipHop narratives, like materialism, but remains engaging with playful satire.
Many would dub Parker Corey and co heavily underrated; they have been in the game long enough to establish themselves among America’s most treasured collectives; Floss and Live From The Dentist Office were two exceptional EPs. This record sees them cement their abrasive sound into a versatile body of work, the Amine featuring single ‘Jailbreak The Tesla’ is a feisty stand out tune, where Corey manipulates horns into a scatty beat that scurries below the biting flows of Stepa J and Ritchie T.
Similarly to Denzel Curry, and other Artist’s signed to Loma Vista records, this album is heavy. However, there are some more mellow and catchy cuts that definitely rival the “Spazz Rap” Injury Reserve are best known for. The melody on ‘Gravy ’n’ Biscuits’ sounds straight off an early Eminem record; it is a comical rendition of the shenanigans that go on when the group is on tour, but also references the dangers of smartphones and “the cloud”: “The blue lights bad for your eyes, lil n***a. You won’t grab the chrome (google me, n***a) spits Ritchie in the second verse.
Another exceptional tune is ‘Wax on’, which features the legendary Freddie Gibbs. Unfortunately for Stepa and Ritchie, Gibbs reminds them they have along way to go if they want to be considered one of the greats in American HipHop. The Indiana rapper shreds through his bars, giving no mercy as he compares himself to the film Citizen Kane and references his time in Prison. The twinkly production glamourises his tales of “cooking dope”, but the way Freddie tells his stories makes it seem so acceptable; he is a realist, and all the more vulnerable for it.
With all the amazing music that dropped last Friday, it would have been easy for this LP to go off your radar. If it did so, do not hesitate to give it a listen; the group, like collaborators JPEGMAFIA and Rico Nasty, are some of the most pleasantly unpredictable artists out there at the moment - the world really is Injury Reserve’s oyster.