Review: MC Lars – This Gigantic Robot Kills

Back in 2006, when I started writing for Tastes Like Chicken, the first CD I ever reviewed was MC Lars’s full-length debut The Graduate.  And though I had nothing but good things to say about it, I kinda wondered as time passed if I only liked it because I was so excited to be doing reviews.  Well, the release of his new album This Gigantic Robot Kills has put those worries to bed.  It’s pretty fuckin’ good.

MC Lars has always described his style as “post-punk laptop rap,” though I’m sure some have just called him “indie/pop/hip hop,” which is a term I tend to hate seeing as it’s both generic and tends to lump him in with the Gym Class Heroes (even though Lars did tour with them).  And although some may come after the gimmick factor in his lyrics, he’s honestly just following the cardinal rule of “write what you know.”  Gangster rappers write about gangster shit.  White Stanford English Majors born in the early 80’s rap about hipsters, Guitar Hero, Hamlet, and Bukowski.  And I know I’ve always been the kind of listener who tends to hold the music above the words, but MC Lars is one of the few exceptions that finds me following along with the lyric sheet on the first listen.

Standout tracks include “True Player For Real” (featuring “Weird Al” Yankovic on accordion) which blatantly deems itself the “self-referential introduction song,” “No Logo,” a song that makes you wonder why no other rapper has sampled the bass line to Fugazi’s “Waiting Room,” and “Hey There Ophelia,” which serves as the ultimate Cliff’s Note, delivering the entire story of Hamlet in under four and a half minutes.  But among all these tracks, my favorite has gotta be “Hipster Girl,” if for nothing else because it takes a potshot at Donnie Darko (a movie I always thought needed to be taken down a peg).

So get your ass out there and buy This Gigantic Robot Kills.

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