MSTRKRFT – [Album]

Sunday, 19 April 2009

The Phrase “off the deep end” isn’t used enough, so let’s use it. MSTRKRFT went off the deep end into gangster-ville with Fist of God. It’s been a while since I’ve heard something from Ghostface Killah, or something borderline rock-ish from E-40. Both of them rep the streets with MSTRKRFT on this new album and all parties involved brought their bag of awesome.

MSTRKRFT, a band only four years old, composed of Jesse F. Keeler and Alex Puodziukas has jumped an enormous leap forward in their second album, Fist of God. The two Canadians have been known to work remixes on some of the greats in their music genre like Justice, Bloc Party, Wolfmother and Death from above 1979, of which Keeler is a former member.

The beginning of Fist of God starts with “It Ain’t Love (Feat. Lil Mo),” bringing us straight into the hard ear-bud-blowing beats we require from MSTKRFT. Lil Mo (Cynthia Loving) brings amazing lyrics and great vocals. Her past work with people like ODB and Missy Elliot is infused into her ability to work well with the track. The dancefloor-ability of this track is something that would drive the party into the wee hours of the night with forceful energy to really make the dancefloor junkies go crazy.

Stepping into track two I immediately think about seeing MSTRKRFT live. Jesse is known for smoking up a storm through an entire set. Track two, titled “1000 Cigarettes,” is built to be that great track that lets us rock out without really having to make sure we put in 1000% in our dance moves. Its steady mellow mid-tones, with the occasional cowbell, really drive us to listen to the track and every sound that is methodically infused together.

“Bounce (Feat. N.O.R.E. and Isis)” is the track to extract for the single off this album. The United States has huge love for hip-hop, and MSTRKRFT delivers the heavy beat that is a requirement for all hip-hop music. Without the beat, the lyrics really mean nothing. If you doubt the gangster-ness of this album, please recall that N.O.R.E. (aka Noreaga, aka Victor Santiago Jr.) was arrested earlier this year at a Fat Burger in Florida after getting in a fight with another Fat Burger patron. The hard-hitting lyrics and trill of the track is definitely a winner. Or should I say “winna.”

With all great albums there must be tracks that are at a higher pace and a slower pace. “Heartbreaker,” featuring John Legend, is our slower-paced track off the album that is quite legendary. If you know John Legend’s singing ability you know the vocals will be spectacular before even hearing the track. His voice makes singing along so easy it gives goosebumps. John Legend’s albums are usually a little slow for me, and listening to them over and over is often difficult. Tracks like this, where we take an awesome vocalist and a duo that deliver and amazing beat, places us in a great stride forward in this music genre. I hope to see more tracks like this from MSTRKRFT in the future.

The power of the track “Fist of God” following “Heartbreaker” is an immediate elevation into the club vibe that MSTRKRFT is known for. No lyrics for this track other than the occasional “yeah!” yell that matches your mental feeling about the song as you listen to it. The headbanging beat is exactly what people look for when they want to drive fast, go jogging, lift weights or bust a move in their boxers at home while no one is looking. Don’t ask, don’t tell I say.

Overall, Fist of God is a good direction of growth for where MSTKRFT is going. If you listened to their debut album, The Looks, you know that they had to make a different approach to keep the appeal of we the listeners. The delivery on this new album with heavy vocals is exactly what they felt and I feel, was the proper direction to go in. Most tracks on this album can be played at a concert (which I can’t wait to hear when they’re in Los Angeles) or at home and in the car. I couldn’t ask for anything more with this album.


MSTRKRFT – Fist of God[Buy it now on]

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