Hangar 18: Sweep The Leg

It has been three years since Hangar 18's The Multi-Platinum Debut, and they've been busy. So busy they may quickly become the best mainstream candidate on Definitive Jux. While other label mates are strongly rooted in lyricism and confounding beat complexities, Hangars' increasing range and maturing accessibility, as showcased on their newest project, Sweep The Leg (Definitive Jux) could have them exploding into areas previously uncharted by other Jukies.The attitude Hangar connects with itself is almost an ironic distance with success. It's as if naming you're first release "Multi-Platinum" doesn't scream all sorts of swagger, and with Sweep The Leg its confidence isn't plastered on the cover, but buried in almost every other facet. "Highly Anticipated", the first track, kicks through like Run-DMC though a plaster wall, and asks "Where were you when you first heard The Multi-Platinum Debut?" For many who will have the opportunity to hear this album, their first interaction was probably at a Gym Class Heroes show... Moving on, Atari-esk plucks of "Watchyoself" are Innocent while the hollowed drums shake beneath, directing the track like a joystick with a vendetta. "Jump Muthafuh," and "Bakin Soda" are similar in their techno-logic structure, but standout production wise from other Def Jux beats. Some listeners will be put off by the wailing sirens, syphoned sonics and the sporadic howls that have come to be associated with the label and creates a barrier betwixt artist and Top 100 status. Producer paWL sticks to a similar blueprint, but seems to strain out some of the intensity, giving emcees Alaska and Wind N' Breeze space to vibe. Def Jux has become synonymous with lyricism. El-P, Aesop Rock, and Cage are all at the forefront, but Hangar is lurking, honing their skills. On both their previous album, and the mixtape The Donkey Show Vol. 1, the syntax is amazing, while the diction sometimes comes off garbled and a bit dodgy. "Sad," with its eerie and smokey execution illustrates Hangars tempo adjustment. They've been practicing their beat riding. "Room To Breathe", which may be one of the best tracks on the album, shows off the veering speed ability, as they boys hurdle over the droning bass, and subtle one note backdrop. With these tracks, and a handful of other equally amazing songs, Hangar 18 do something they may not be too familiar with; capturing a fan base previously uninterested in "indie-hop".Hangar 18 have Pac-Manned fans through their dedicated touring schedule. The payoff comes now, upon the release of Sweep The Leg, which will most certainly draw more attention. With a strongly accessible foundation, tight rhymes, and an aversion to cocky, balls-in-hand mentalities, you may not remember their first album, but you may just remember where you where when you head their second.SOUNDCHECK: