Artist: LZRS TXN
Album: Side B
Genre: Intergalactic groove

LZRS TXN wear their influences on their sleeves with ’90s hip-hop and gangster film samples abound, but these feel less like a vision statement and more like respectful nods to the past as the Texan duo’s musical output is in line with a boundary-pushing future. Derived from glossy, electro-laden grooves, their sound takes the danceable vibes of chillwave and blends them with clattering hip-hop percussion into a star-gazed beast of its own.

Throughout Side B, the follow-up to last year’s (you guessed it) Side A, an array of warping synths is precisely arranged with vocalist Francis Sobotka’s ability to transition between earthly rapping and otherworldly vocoder-crooning in mind. Delivered with a conscious level of brashness, Sobotka’s spitting is effective at crafting lyrical set-pieces as he flows from scenario to scenario, reveling in a sense of luxury one track (“real g with the conversation; get this girl condensation”) and devising a mellow space to lay back and spark up the next. The peculiarity of each track’s atmosphere is reflected in the inflection of his vocals from song to song as well, a notion best seen on “It’s Not You, It’s Me”; rather than opting for a straight-forward flow, he showcases a melodic flair through soothingly extended notes on the hook to complement its romantic nature.

In truth, though, the electronic leanings of Side B find LZRS TXN at their most intriguing. As the phrase (and album standout’s namesake) “we own the night” slowly emerges through a haze of reverberating vocoder effects and a crunchy synth-line bumps along on, one cannot help but feel the duo has it in them to craft the same infectious work outside of brief hooks. “Let It Go” does the best job of affirming this feeling as its masterfully-edited vocals dominate the runtime, not only resulting in a sense of futuristic bliss, but also making the occasional bars more impactful. Simply put, LZRS TXN have a formula that works with pleasant results, but the potential to achieve new heights is too evident to ignore.

Here’s to them reaching for the stars next time around.

SCORE: 7/10

Mike Giegerich
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