Gold Chains - Straight From Your Radio EP
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Gold Chains
Straight From Your Radio EP

Topher LaFata is a 28 year old San Franciscan who was raised on krautrock, techno, and punk, yet finds himself spitting out over-the-top hip hop lyrics to powerbook hijinks. Although his debut EP was released on Kit Clayton's Orthlorng Musork label, it's only natural that his follow-up is coming out on Tigerbeat6, home to pranksters like Kid 606 and Cex. Over the course of 6 tracks, he kicks out clubby little tracks that mash hip-hop, techno, and injections of pop for a stew of bass-heavy tracks and lyrics that will make many blush.

The disc actually starts out with one of the best tracks on the disc in the EP-titled "Straight From Your Radio." After a short countdown intro, the track slams into a grimy, clanking techno track while Gold Chains growls lyrics that sound like the typical hip-hop bragging. Musically, the track is the most inventive on the disc, changing up many times over the course of the track while injecting little touches of jungle and glitch. From there, the release goes into the track that will probably polarize most listeners. Not only does "I Treat Your Cootchie Like A Maze" have the raunchiest lyrics of any track on the disc, but it thumps along with probably the least inventive beat on the disc. Sure, it's hilarious on some levels, but it also comes across as sort of sophomoric both musically and lyrically.

The album picks up a fair amount with both "Let's Make It" and the cover of Samhain's "Human Pony," but the swaggering tracks never quite reach the interesting peaks that the beginning song on the release did, and the female background singers almost recall Lords Of Acid. "Mountains Of Coke" is another high-energy track with silly lyrics that again revel in just how over-the-top they are.

Overall, it's an interesting release, but the novelty factor of it all wears a bit thin after a couple listens. It's better than most of what's on the radio, and singing along with it loudly in your car while cruising around in the summer will definitely turn heads, but I imagine that Gold Chains is one of those artists who translate much better live than on the recorded format. Tongue-in-cheek laptop tech-hop? Yeah, something like that.

rating: 6.2510
Aaron Coleman 2003-06-28 00:00:00