Food For Animals - Belly
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Food For Animals

Crunchy, crackling, and noisy, Belly is a blistering blast of deconstructed hip-hop from the Washington D.C.-based trio Food For Animals. Over the course of fifteen tracks, musical main-man Ricky Rabbit tears apart genres and slams together chunks of everything from drum and bass to IDM to crispy electronic glitch. Rappers Vulture V and Hy drop back-and-forth flows, sometimes having to scrap their way through the blown-gasket beats.

"Maryland Slang" kicks things off with about a minute of stuttering beats and sprays of damaged electronics, but it's "Tween My Lips" and "Bulk Gummies" that really kick things off, as pile-driving kicks and noisy interference sounds swarm around the lines of the two MCs. The former is more focused and rhythmic, jumping in and out of the ring in just under two minutes, while the latter careens through almost four minutes of massively-damaged sonics, with nods to dubstep and junkyard hip-hop.

A broken and bruised release in just about every way, Belly jumps from shorter tracks (that include spoken-word samples and completely mangled radio noise) to longer songs that sometimes hit on a sound that's downright stunning. The swarming "Shhhy" juxtaposes shimmering electronics with low-end crunching beats and aggressive vocals, while the odd "Swampy (Summer Jam)" takes some cheesy synth melodies and mashes them into another heavy rumbler. On the other hand, the group gets downright bogged down in their digitally-deconstructed morass in several places, including the overlong "You Right" and "Bubbleguts/Territory/My Breath," both of which could have gotten the point across in nearly half their running length.

In fifteen tracks and just under forty minutes, the group slams together everything from sandlblasted jazz loops to drill-and-bass freakouts and glitchy meltdowns. Because of the sheer dynamics and frantic sonics (and words), it's one of those releases that packs a lot of punch into a short running length. In some cases, it seems like the groups focus on breaking down the system is actually a bit of a detriment to the release itself, but Belly is a release that should give any fan of noisy hip-hop a huge thrill (Def Jux hasn't dropped anything quite like this in awhile).

rating: 710
Aaron Coleman 2008-02-14 19:19:49