5 Sparrows For 2 Cents

Artist: The ProcussionsTitle: 5 Sparrows For 2 CentsRating: 3 StarsReviewed by: Angus Crawford

Backpackers everywhere unite, because the prodigal label, Rawkus, has returned. The same label that helped launch the careers of Talib Kweli and Mos Def is back with the the Procussions and the release of their album 5 Sparrows For 2 Cents (Rawkus). Hailing from Colorado Springs and now repping LA, the group is not like your typical underground New York MCs that spawned their aforementioned label home. However, change may good for the razor logo, because the Procussion’s debut is a solid start for the new old label.

After listening to the album, its hard not to compare the Procussions to Jurassic 5, albeit with a touch of the Beastie Boys. Mr. J. Medeiros, Stro and Rez are not going to beat Jay-Z or Canibus with battle rhymes, but their style is pleasantly effective and works well with Stro’s percussion heavy production. The lead single, “The Storm”, is energetic and full of J5esque rhymes, with Mr. J. Medeiros’ (think Zach De La Rocha) vocals giving the hook that extra something to keep listeners hyped. Songs like “Shabach”, “Anybody”, and “Rain Dance” demonstrate the Procussions at their best with lively beats and no frills lyrics.

When the group veers from that sound, the album becomes a little hit or miss. On the hit side, “Little People”, is a sentimental song about parents and their failure to pay attention to their children. However, “Carousel” is a song that misses with disjointed PE rhymes mixed with corny carnival sounds and a lazy hook. In between the hit and miss, first generation Rawkus member, Talib Kweli, comes through on “Miss January” a song about lost loves accompanied by Stro’s brilliant guitar and sample loops. Sadly Kweli is not at his best and Medeiros’ lyrics sound a little contrived, with lines like “True I grew from the pain and the days where I’d pay anything / Standing there like John Cusak in Say Anything”.

Fans clamoring for the return of Rawkus Records should be pleasantly surprised by the debut of the Procussions and their refreshing sound. Just don’t hold your breath if you are waiting for the next Black Star.