Review Summary: This blend of music called “Death-Hop” presents itself on your doorstep like a child of yours you never knew existed, but will no doubt grow to love.
“Death-Hop”... Sound familiar? If you’ve never heard of it don’t feel bad, I was also unaware of what that was until recently. “Death-Hop” is in fact the self-proclaimed title to a genre that seamlessly blends hip-hop, hard rock, rap and metal which is spearheaded by the Melbourne based duo known as Over-Reactor. Over- Reactor is built by ex Mammal front-man Ezekiel Ox, who provides all the vocal work and his partner in crime Cory Blight takes care of the rest. The pair share a unique vision that helps them drizzle flourishing beats over heavy guitar riffs and shifting paces to create a genre defying shake up that everyone should pay attention too.
The aptly titled ‘Mouth of the Ghetto’ opens up with a hard hitting bass drum line combined with weird electronic samples and the devastating aura brought by Ezekiel Ox’s energetic vocals array. His dynamic vocals pick up towards the chorus of ‘Realisin’ quickly into angsty rapping. This almost industrial blend of beats and grungy guitar over the vocals creates a rather interesting opening track, which gets catchier after a few more spins. It’s not until the title track ‘Mouth of the Ghetto’ comes on that you can finally start to see this vision of death-hop coming together in a beneficial manner. A huge heavy guitar riff opens the song and is layered over more signature beats that help add a slab of new dimension into the track. Lyrically and musically this song shifts the pace to a slower number but the energetic vocal delivery does not take a back seat. ‘Mouth of the Ghetto’ builds from its heavy crunching ringtone sound into an ending that combines an undeniable amount of power and show of lyrical beauty which is fuelled by its brilliant conclusion featuring a shout out to a notorious Australian criminal.
Once the sound is understood by the listener it becomes quite clear what’s in store for the remainder of the record. Most tracks hit hard and fast which requires them to be played at a very large volume to fully appreciate Ox’s varying vocal range and Blights forcefully catchy arrangements. Only a few tracks with ‘Drop That’ and ‘I Like Getting High’ being the main culprits miss the mark completely. The funkier computerized beats in ‘Drop That’ verge on annoying instead of catchy and makes the whole listening experience very tedious. Whereas ‘I Like Getting High’ features a great driving bass beat but pairing that with weird shopping list ramblings don’t amount to too much. I feel as though these two tracks tried shoving too much unnecessary twists into them, solely to give them depth. Apart from these little missteps the other tracks on a album and especially the final four all flow really well and are all exceptional. ‘So Easy’ opens with ambient influential vocals lead into a grungier dancy vibe whilst ‘Tie the Noose’ has a rawness to it that helps make Ox’s vocals shine yet again.
What Over-Reactor has achieved with ‘Mouth of the Ghetto’ is a solid attempt to break the constraints of what defines a genre and trying something new out of it. By drawing on a range of sounds from influential bands such as Pantera, Beastie Boys and Black Flag, Over-Reactor are definitely onto something. Tracks like ‘Mouth of the Ghetto’ and ‘Hold That There’ all excel in their self-proclaimed genre of “Death-Hop” whilst some overly ambitious sounding songs like ‘Drop That’ fail miserably. In the end this blend of music called “Death-Hop” presents itself on your doorstep like a child of yours you never knew existed, but will no doubt grow to love.