Artist: MaspykeTitle: StaticRating: 2 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Dubstin G

Maspyke is the name of the Springfield, MA trio of beat-maker Roddy Rod and MCs Hanif Jamiyl and Tableek. Seemingly named after a highway, the group received some acclaim from its first album, The Blackout, and is back this year with its new release, Static (Bukarance/ABB). Without pulling any punches, Static is an average album at best.

Roddy Rod deserves credit for trying to craft some original beats, but most of his tracks are either unexceptional or straight up annoying. By the time you get to the album's 14th track, the cumulative affect of so much thick, fuzzy bass and flat beats is clearly grating. MCs Tableek and H-Bomb (Jamiyl) have decent voices and respectable flows, but never do anything to separate them from the mob of countless low-fi underground MCs out there.

Maspyke's potential is evident on "The Summon," where the two MCs roll smoothly over a chill, head-nodding track. But the rest of Static is plagued by chunky, awkward beats and some horrible choruses. Too many songs are ruined with half-hearted singing, including "Step," which could have been one of the album's high points. Other tracks miss completely, such as "Summa," a song that's intended to feel like summertime, but instead sounds like the two MCs are trapped in a factory with what sounds like a tuba player

Maspyke was going for something good with Static, but unfortunately fell short of the mark. In the rare moments when everything works, Maspyke provides laid back vocals over blunter beats, the perfect music for cruising around in your car with the bass turned up. But too often something is missing, and Static proves a mediocre listen. On the track "Recipe," which features bizarre samples of a British woman cooking, H-Bomb brags "[I'm] a young microphone terrorist/people will compare-a this kid to the R/I'm serious." At this point in his career, that's pretty unlikely.