MC Lars – This Gigantic Robot Kills

Band: MC Lars
Album: This Gigantic Robot Kills
Genre: Nerdcore Hip Hop

1. Where Ya Been Lars?
2. True Player For Real
3. Hipster Girl
4. It’s Not Easy [Being Green]
5. This Gigantic Robot Kills
6. No Logo
7. 35 Laurel Drive
8. Twenty-Three
9. Guitar Hero Hero
10. O.G. Original Gamer
11. We Have Arrived
12. White Kids Aren’t Hyphy
13.Hey There Ophelia
14. [Lord It’s Hard To Be Happy When You’re Not] Using The Metric System

Talk about most anticipated of 2009. MC Lars has been on my radar for awhile now and as soon as I learned we worked with him [back in November], I’ve been very open about my excitement for this new release as it’s been a few years since the last official release. Put out on Bowling For Soup’s Label, This Gigantic Robot Kills is a near flawless display of nerdcore rhymes and true hip hop skill performed by one of the least likely candidates imaginable.

Following a name drop laced intro track, the record truly kicks off with, as Lars states, with a self referential introduction song. “True Player For Real,” brings everything we’ve come to love about Lars to the limelight with signs of growth and maturity. The pop culture references are more biting, and the ivy league education can also be seen within the writing. Lars wastes no time in the first few tracks addressing going green, a metaphorical return of ska [this is where the gigantic robot comes in], and more ludicrous, yet grounded ideas to the front. To me, “This Gigantic Robot Kills,” is one of Lars most solid tracks to date. It’s a ludicrous concept, but the flow and musical structure is top 40 ready and truly makes you believe ska could come back [which I would love with every inch of me]. Not a single track seems to pass without unique concepts, self depricating lines, and sharp wit/insight on the world today.

Then again, it wouldn’t be Lars without the overly simple tracks as well. The key one here is, “35 Laurel Drive,” which is about nothing more than Lars’ drummer’s dirty house. Each verse is overly wrought with descriptions of horrid living environments over a catchy beat and the drummer’s name.

One of the most surprising turns with this disc is, “Twenty Three.” This may be the most serious tracks Lars has ever released. Suicide and other problems are discussed with a beautiful flow and beat to back it up. Most of the material here is fun, but too reference heavy [and at times corny] for mainstream audiences, but this track is much more wide in terms of appeal. It addresses a very serious topic without getting too morbid or dark while still leaving a mark on your mind. It’s terrific.

The back half of the record has a bit of a drag in it, but nothing the rest of t he record can’t carry. It’s necessary to point out the well thought out singel, “Guitar Hero Hero,” that will be funny to anyone whose ever gotten tired of hearing people discuss their skill at the popular videogame series. However, for you non gamers, it’s a bit more rough territory. Though that Ivy league education shows itself in ,”Hey There Ophelia,” which is entirely based of Hamlet and, unless you know the story, may confuse the majority of America. No offense, but it’s not the easiest plot to follow in normal settings. The album then ends with a cover of one of my favorite act’s ever, Atom and His Package’s, “[Lord It’s Hard To Be Happy When You’re Not] Using The Metric System.” It’s a reimagining of sorts, but features some input from Atom and ends things perfectly. If you don’t know the original, that’s ok, Lars makes it his own.

All video game, movie, literary, and other references aside, MC Lars is a true artist. This Gigantic Robot Kills is his “The Persistence of Memory.” It’s a truly engaging and entertaining record that remains fresh and fun throughout dozens of spins. I was excited to see what Lars would bring to the table, but even I didn’t expect something this profound. He claims nerdcore has come and gone, but this may just be the resurrection it needs.

*Written by: James Shotwell*
Score: 9.5/10

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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