Gutter Tactics

Gutter Tactics is a pointed reminder that the negative energy of the last 8, 50, or 233 years cannot be erased in one day. The chilly mood Dälek creates may not be one that people wish to embrace as they embark upon this optimistic new year.Producer Oktopus coats his thick beats in dark, layered grinds of noise, like a Bomb Squad raised on industrial music instead of soul or funk. It's a squealing, malevolent sound, one that gives the album a constant sense of unease and dread. MC Dälek's voice sits low in the mix, emerging from the swirling din with eerie, guttural force.The opening track, which samples the Reverend Jeremiah Wright's infamous post-9/11 sermon, will get a lot of attention, but not because it's a gimmick — it's powerful and provocative, and it strips away the hysteria that ignored the truth in his lines. "Who Medgar Evers Was ..." is like a splash of cold water to the face; "Armed with Krylon" finds Dälek and Oktopus perfectly aligned, the vocals and music forming an overwhelming crush.The only stutter: "Los Macheteros," a time line of the Puerto Rican independence/terrorist movement, comes off as forced and didactic. Still, Gutter Tactics recalls the anger of the recent past and memories we'd like to leave behind — perfect timing. (Ipecac)


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