Review Summary: Amazing dubstep from a relatively unknown artist.
Most people probably have no clue who CowardlyLion is. His Facebook page only has about 80 likes on it. Basically, CowardlyLion (real name is Eli Brooks), is an independent dubstep producer/artist/whateverthehellyoucallit from Greeley, Colorado. A city that is 49 miles north-northeast of Denver. I accidentally stumbled upon his works while going through the audio portal on Newgrounds where he uploaded his track, "Anaconda Squeeze" (which is also the third track on this EP). After finding his soundcloud and listening to more of his works, I realized that I have stumbled upon an absolutely amazing dubstep artist that nobody has a clue about and that everyone SHOULD have a clue about.
This EP is titled In Xanadu (whatever the hell that is suppose to mean). It is four tracks of great unknown dubstep. It is also free (all the tracks are up for download off of his soundcloud). I will be doing this review track-by-track.
The EP opens up with a remix of "Hoodie Ninja" by MC Chris. The beat is pretty sick to this intro. I like the way the synth and the percussion is arranged. After the first verse, it immediately drops into a very sick wobble section which then, in turn, leads into the second verse of the song with the wobble section playing in the background. The song closes with the chorus played through one last time. This is one of the best dubstep remixes I have heard in a while and it definitely sets up for the rest of the EP.
The next track (as for the rest of the EP) is an original composition by CowardlyLion. This track is titled "The Hammer Of Thor." The song starts off with something that sounds like straight out of a hip-hop beat for a twisted rap artist like Tech N9ne. But then it drops into this mind blowing wobble section. By the way, if you get mad about wobbles, get over it. It's dubstep. You're GOING to have wobbles. By the second build-up, you'll notice that their is a staccato'd trance synth. But the second build-up drops into a percussion change and more modulated bass before that then drops into the wobble section from the beginning again.
The next track is titled "Anaconda Squeeze" and is, undoubtedly, the highlight of this EP. It opens up with a very haunting piano riff followed by some spacy sounding synth added in. The first part of this song is in 3/4 time at 160 BPM. And the opening contains a simple hi-hat and snare combo. It then has it's first drop into a space sounding wobble section. It then builds up into something that was unexpected and is something I have never heard in dubstep. It drops into a new time signature and tempo (4/4 and 200 BPM to be exact). The wobble section afterwards can only be explained as the sounds of aliens performing an autopsy on some kind of Transformer. The rest of the song follows in 4/4 and 200 BPM until the ending. Never have I heard a dubstep track like this.
The final track is titled "Ultraviolent" and is began with a lounge, Weather Channel, sounding synth line but follows into a guitar layered, bass heavy intro. And then drops into a simple wobble section. As simple as it sounds it compliments the intro quite nicely. The second drop is the best. The second wobble section definitely shows some progression from the first part. And has a haunting piano riff (different notes but same tone from the intro of Anaconda Squeeze). The bridge is the best part. It has a piano riff which leads into a bass heavy section with trance-style synth laid on top of it. The final part is the first wobble section with the trance laid over it. It ends with the trance line mixed with the haunting piano, and brings the EP to a close.
My overall view of the EP is that it is a great EP and, honestly, the only thing that keeps it from being a full 5 is that it can get repetitive at some points. Certain parts of the track, "The Hammer Of Thor," sounds like it was just copied and pasted over and over. Other than that, there is really no complaints. Other than this is an EP and an artist that should be WAY more popular than what it actually is. I'm pretty sure I'm the only person in my town (let alone, school) that has everything this guy has released on my iPod. Definitely download this EP and other releases by him the second that you get the chance. This guy is good enough to be up in the ranks with some of the big mainstream dubstep artists.
* Very slick production from such a young artist
* Experimental dubstep (shown in Anaconda Squeeze)
* Piano parts sound sick
* The Hammer Of Thor can get repetitive
* Piano, although good sounding, is a bit over used