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[Off The Record]
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Kottonmouth Kings

Like their buddies Insane Clown Posse, Kottonmouth Kings are a thuggish bunch of white rappers with a large cult following and a thing for face paint. Theyíve also borrowed craftily enough from the Cypress Hill playbook to earn themselves the 2000 High Times Band of the Year award. On the groupís third major-label disc, their hydroponic blend of hip-hop and dope rock remains potent enough to transcend their built-in greasy-kidsí appeal. But the bong huffing and troublemaking donít sound quite as much fun this time around, and there arenít enough memorable choruses to sustain a 70-minute album. The turf-claiming one-two punch of "Killa Kali" and "Welcome to the Suburbs" sets a brash hip-hop tone; later, the Kings try their hand at a variety of Pacific Coast rock styles without getting too self-consciously eclectic. "Dying Daze" and "Bi-Polar" are appropriately frenetic takes on Pennywise-style punk, and "On the Run" is a surprisingly tender Sublime tribute. The latter is the one tune on the disc with crossover potential ó not that the group would be proud of such a thing. But the staler their shtick grows, the more commercial ó and artistic ó sense aiming for a hit starts to make.

(Kottonmouth Kings open for D12 this Wednesday, November 28, at Avalon. Call 617-262-2424.)


Issue Date: November 22 - 29, 2001

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