Breakbeat is an EDM subgenre that is interesting, relevant and intellectually based that has still some real musical potential to this day, although it originally emerged in the 1990s as an offshoot of the Acid House scene. Over time, many artists have emerged from this subgenre and have proven to be worthy musicians. Evil Nine have been seen to be one of them, and this is their debut album, also seen as their best album out there by them. Let’s explore this album and hear where it takes us.
Crooked begins the album and is a joint piece with Aesop Rock. It begins with the whispered phrase, “Shh! The baby’s sleeping!” before some looped vocal samples are present over subsonic bass. It launches into a Hip Hop influenced piece with some nicely Rapped vocals over the top of it all. This is a fairly minimal effort but does sound interesting regardless. The mixture of rapping, beats and subsonic bass sounds quite good and is a lively and energetic listen. This is a solid effort from the start and it is fair to say that without vocals, this track would be fairly ordinary. Yet, the music and Rapping complement each other well here. Around the middle are some additional warm-sounding electronic textures and looped sounds that sound quite different. The lyrics are about blowing away the competition musically, which is fairly straightforward stuff from a musician, not originally so. This is a good track, and it certainly shows promise. Towards the end the vocals are faded out, replaced by warm, atmospheric sounds and the sound of vinyl being played. Not bad, it segues into the next track.
Devil Stuff begins with some sampled interview talk about people who took the music of groups such as Black Sabbath the wrong way. This quickly launches into a retro 1980s-sounding piece with real bass guitar. It doesn’t sound overly inspired at this point. In fact, this is quite disappointing, it sounds far too minimal and ordinary to be taken seriously. There are additional sounds thrown into the mix after a bit, but that’s about it. This track lacks excitement and interest and does come across as disappointing. It’s okay for what it is, but there is nothing truly amazing nor inspirational about this tune. In short, it’s boring. It also is fairly lengthy and could have been edited quite a lot with some more sounds and a shorter time span for this track. Anyway, some EDM fans may appreciate this, but this is certainly not fantastic. It sounds like the worst of Joy Division meeting a boring breakbeat track, which isn’t good. In any case, if you like Breakbeat, check out someone more noteworthy such as Plump DJs, not a waste of time like this. The percussion towards the end is good, but aside from that, this is very ordinary. Too long and dull. The track segues into the next track, but at the wrong time. Which poses the question: were these guys doing meth? Dull and uninspired.
Earth comes next, and has some proper beats this time. It also has the age-old trick of sampling a documentary talking over the top. Really, how original. Soon enough, some Rapping enters and this is, once again, enough to stop the record. This track is very uninspired, dull, repetitive and lacking interesting sounds and suspense. Hard to believe that this is the competition to other Breakbeat greats such as The Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy, it is just a failure. The Rapping sounds awkward, too, and for the matter, this is not supposed to be a Rap record. Forgettable and lacking energy, this has no longevity as a record. Fortunately, you can hit the stop button and go make a cup of tea (or drink of choice), this is appalling and boring music. Less popular records before this have been better than this rubbish. Anyway, it’s listenable but barely so. It segues straight into the next track.
You Can Be Special – Skit has some sampled speech and is a lame intermission piece with some cut-up samples of voiceovers that doesn’t sound good. Naff. It is only 30 seconds long, however.
We Have The Energy has a better beat, grinding basslines and launches into an unoriginal sounding piece with guitar feedback and bongos. This continues the mundane nature of this recording, and despite the fact that this is a slight improvement, it still sounds uninspired and routine. The sounds here are fairly predictable as well, nothing great or awesome present on this track. Some sampled speech enters, and this sounds like an awkward mixture of sounds. Again, this is also too long and needs editing. If you want a Breakbeat recording to fall asleep to, you have come to the right place. The track does get a bit more interesting in the second half, but all the same, this track does not save the dull nature of this record. This is a real shame as a result, and it is forgettable. The looped sounds towards the end are quite good, but that’s about it. It finishes with the vocal sample with sweep delay, talk about amateur music here.
Snack Bar Lounge is a shorter piece with some ethereal sounds. Some distorted vocal samples enter the right channel, and this doesn’t make sense, yet again. Soon into it, some fairly good beats enter and some scratched vinyl vocal samples enter. This is okay, but better examples of DJ work are out there, once again. Better sounds are out there, and although this is okay, this record clearly lacks magic. Naff, dull and forgettably lame, this is another exercise in music that lacks passion. It ends with an extended fade-out, are we done yet?
Help – Skit begins with the sounds of rushing water, sampled guitar and a voiceover. It is less than 30 seconds long and is utter nonsense, basically.
Pearl Shot begins with some really messed up and likely illegal vocal samples from Guns N Roses (if Axl Rose is reading this, sue these guys) before this track gets going. This goes into another boring track with the lamest and most disgusting rapping about…well take a guess by the track title. This is totally embarrassing and stupid to hear, it makes Eminem’s music sound 100% perfect. A boring, drivel and nonsense piece of music, it doesn’t do any justice for any listeners out there. It makes sense that these guys never signed to a major label, and it would have been better if they had not bothered in the first place to record music. This also puts one totally off EDM, which is really sad that is the case. So much more music from all genres out there is better than this disgustingly sexist rubbish. Anyway, it is fortunate that you can observe this review so that you never need to hear this embarrassment of a record. “You blow my mind, you waste my time,” is repeatedly Rapped at the end here, which is terrible. It ends with repetitive and awful guitar feedback.
You Are Not Through is an ironic title for this song on the record, and this is sadly not the case this album runs for well over an hour. It begins with some dreary sounds, including bass lines from bass guitar and electric guitars. This launches into a terrible piece of music with some female vocals that do not match. This album is totally not worth it, and listening to it is excruciating torture. It’s not even Breakbeat this tune, it does not sound at all like it. A boring, dreary and dull listen, this is something to listen to if you want a big headache. The whole thing does not sound good musically, it just does not. The female vocals and murky instrumentation are a poor match for each other, and this album fails miserably. The string section in the background sounds very dreary, too. No real progressions or melodic sensibility, it is an awful tune. The fact that these tracks are nearly five minutes long is also a sore spot, this is a real deep disappointment here. Eventually, this slice of dull music ends, which it fortunately does.
Richard & Jane – Skit is another 30-second skit. It’s pathetic sounding, with some sampled speech from a horror movie. It’s the most stupid “skit” one can think of. This also adds to the worthless nature of this record.
For Lovers, Not Fighters – Vinyl Edit begins with some repetitive beats and sounds that are largely uninspired. They take far too long to kick-off, and the whole track is fairly predictable. It is also a poor attempt at making a catchy tune in the nature of EDM, but fails miserably, even though this is an improvement on some of what came before. Still, this is so stupid sounding that one can fall asleep to it. Too minimal as well, for its own good. There is a lame robotic voice stating, “for lovers, not fighters” that repeats over and over again. These guys must have been tone-deaf musically, and this record is proof of that. This is oddly enough, a better cut and redeems the pathetic nature of this album a bit. Unfortunately, this record is still the musical equivalent of flogging a dead horse. The repetitive nature of this track is also a real disappointment, it just wears out its welcome. It’s okay, but barely so. Anyway, a slight improvement and if you are really desperate to hear how bad this record is, this is one of the brighter moments on it. The outro is too lengthy and the repeated robotic voice gets annoying.
Even The Smells begins with some truly awful discordant melodies and samples from a documentary. Boring, stupid and unnecessary, This is not a normal sort of thing, and the documentary would have been better watched alone, rather than added here. A weird and ordinary tune, this is depressing listening. Avoid.
Restless begins with some vocal samples, quicker beats and a grumbling bass guitar. This then launches into an awkward fusion of Reggae and murky Breakbeat. Nothing too special here, yet again. This is an uneducated and uninspirational piece of music, it just doesn’t sound either fresh or good. In any case, this track is just lacking. The Reggae Rapping here is really odd and embarrassing, it just lacks quality. In other words, quality is substituted for quantity here. The lyrics are quite good, but all the same, this is a waste of time. The track drags on and on and is enough for one to be put off Breakbeat entirely. Anyway, this rather lame and depressing tune does not sound that good and it also needs either fixing via editing or junking totally. It ends with a bunch of weird high-pitched frequency sounds, before segueing into the next track.
You Can Be Special 2 – Skit is a weird and nonsensical 30-second long piece that sounds like a crappy news report intermission. Weird, and not necessary here, once again.
Hired Goons is the last track here, thank goodness. It begins with some very basic beats and a bass patch. This is also not that flash but seems to be a slight improvement over what has come before. Still, it is far too minimal and boring to be taken seriously. It just sounds like something that anyone could make with considerable ease, rather than an inspired and awesome effort. A really sad excuse for a record, this album is emotionally and audibly a waste of time. Very little here does justice, and if you made it through this rubbish to this point, congrats, you have more patience than the average listener. It’s enough to give one a stroke upon listening to this junk, and it just doesn’t really do a good job musically. There are some nicer warm textures and wordless female vocal samples towards the end, and this does sound quite unique in comparison to the rest of the album before it. It ends with no beats, just sonic delayed textures. An okay finish to a very poor album, which you needn’t ever hear again.
This is an extremely disappointing and terrible album that doesn’t even need worth considering, and effectively destroys one’s interest in EDM-based music. This is unoriginal, routine and lacking passion, it just doesn’t do any justice here. Anyway, this is a good lesson for the listener that one should not believe any hype. Avoid this at all costs.