Lee Bannon
Alternate/Endings


2.0
poor

Review

by Scott Murphy USER (14 Reviews)
January 8th, 2014 | 32 replies | 1,532 views


Release Date: 01/13/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An alternate beginning and middle would be preferable as well.

1 of 3 thought this review was well written

At this point, it’s become rather cliché to reference Death Grips in a review of a noisy hip-hop record. But after hearing California experimental hip-hop producer Lee Bannon sample MC Ride on just the second track (entitled “NW/WB”) of his debut album, Alternate/Endings, the comparison essentially pens itself. Yet, it’s difficult to link the two artists in really any other way, at least based on the remaining eleven songs. It seems the main goal that Bannon wished to accomplish was not to sound like Death Grips, but rather to compose like them; that is, to transform apparent musical chaos into a structured and engaging song.

However, Bannon’s attempt at accomplishing this M.O. produces a distinctly frustrating listen that causes the hour-long endeavor to become increasingly tiresome. Bannon’s issue isn’t so much that he doesn’t “compose like Death Grips” very well, but that, quite frankly, he just doesn’t compose very well in general. This may sound harsh, but the issues found on Alternate/Endings are highly prominent flaws present on every track.

Stating the worst offender requires no hesitation: the percussion throughout is a severe misstep. To illustrate this point, imagine every beat on OutKast’s Stankonia is replaced with the drum style on “B.O.B.” Now take that drum style, jack up the tempo and intensity and then bring it to the fore front of every track. Really, it’s as obnoxious as it sounds. The only track where the drums are subdued is “Phoebe Cates,” which is additionally the strongest track on the album, containing a spacey atmosphere with both male and female falsetto vocals tastefully sampled and spattered throughout the track.

But other than “Phoebe Cates,” the album feels like Bannon simply spliced together various complimentary samples and synth textures on his DAW of choice. None of the sounds feel dissimilar, and in turn, each track lacks any clear focus. Pair this with this dreadful drum sound and the results are songs that feel like the work of almost any novice teenager toying with FL Studios. There is a glimmer of promise on the beginning of “216” with an intriguing cloaked piano intro, but the same trite drum sounds burst out midway through and quell any momentum.

In all honesty though, there isn’t much drive on Alternate/Endings anyway, which is a rather damning critique for a producer as fresh as Bannon. What his angle will be is unclear as well, especially since his style is far to cluttered for an emcee to ride. Bannon’s only hope for success is to realize that “experimental” means giving uncommon ideas appeal and not experimenting with the presets on DJ software.



Recent reviews by this author
James Vincent McMorrow Post TropicalSharon Jones and the Dap-Kings Give the People What They Want
Mogwai Rave TapesPatterns Waking Lines
Painted Palms ForeverHexis Abalam
user ratings (15)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Multifarious
January 8th 2014



97 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Recommendations are all quality instrumental hip-hop; I needed them after listening to this thing.

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
January 8th 2014



3344 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

actually? that sucks, I liked his place // crusher EP well enough and I'll be getting a free dl of this in a bit thanks to my Ninja Tune drip.fm subscription. sucks that it's not great though. will read review now

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
January 8th 2014



3344 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sweet review, great job not ranting on a 2 review (though a bit of a rant is nice every so often). I'll have to listen for myself to decide but if the drums are as bad as you say then there's not gonna be much hope. if I were to suggest any improvement it's that your last paragraph starts off with a totally new idea, so if anything definitely flesh out his "lack of drive" (since bad presets plus bad drums don't always equal that) but otherwise have a pos. You gonna apply for contrib when the applications (I assume) come out soon?

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
January 8th 2014



4507 Comments


been meaning to check this, these jungle vibes + bannon's cloudy past = yummy

Multifarious
January 8th 2014



97 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Brostep: Thanks a lot. And definitely, where can I find that?

Multifarious
January 8th 2014



97 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Brostep: Also, thanks for the advice.

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
January 8th 2014



3344 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

https://soundcloud.com/ninja-tune/sets/lee-bannon-place-crusher-ep

not amazing, I give it a 3/5, but that's not bad

Pheromone
January 8th 2014



3412 Comments


Heh that summary

Digging: The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

Pheromone
January 8th 2014



3412 Comments


From what I've heard people are really digging this, I think I'll wait for more of a reception before I decide whether or not to listen to this

lethalnezzle
January 9th 2014



1 Comments


The reviewer appears to have missed the point somewhat in that this record is in no way an attempt at a hip-hop record - in any sense - and Bannon makes no bones about this. It's a drum'n'bass record. I'm not saying that a reviewer has to have prior knowledge of a genre in order to come up with valid opinions about the quality of a record, but it's a little embarrassing that the only reference points here are Death Grips and OutKast when those artists come from a different genre altogether.

Multifarious
January 9th 2014



97 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

lethalnezzle:

leebannon.bandcamp.com: "Lee Bannon is a experimental Hip-Hop producer from northern California."

ninjatune.net/release/lee-bannon/alternate-endings: "Bannon has moved away from hip-hop, and into drum n' bass and jungle."

Multifarious
January 9th 2014



97 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

lethalnezzle (cont.):

I'd like to first off thank you for the correction; it does make more sense to label this record as was labeled in the second quote. I can concede when I've made a mistake.

However, I'd counter your second critique by pointing out that both of those comparisons are in direct relation to a specific aspect of the album and not necessarily just the genre of the album. While they may not fall into the same genre, I maintain that my comparisons are valid in describing the sound of the album.

And in the end, the record is still, in my opinion, not good.

ihopeuchoke
January 9th 2014



668 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Why the hell would you compare this to Death Grips and OutKast when that is not the intention of the
artist whatsoever? The entire review lost all credibility to me. The album doesn't sound like Death
Grips or OutKast anywhere on the album or seem influenced by them at all. That's not even close to
what it's going for.

kewlkewl
January 9th 2014



8 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

How do you write this review and not even mention jungle once. Those snare-rolls and syncopated percussion loops are JUNGLE MUSIC.

There is a jungle resurgence creeping its way into hip hop and electronic productions of late. Don't 'spose you wanted to mention that? No, why would you! Death Grips and Outkast will do the job just fine!

It seems as though you're writing about something you don't understand.


ihopeuchoke
January 10th 2014



668 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This can't be anything but hip hop since he made beats for Joey Bada$$. Jungle isn't even a style of music it's a type of habitat, man.

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
January 10th 2014



3344 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Jungle isn't even a style of music it's a type of habitat, man.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oldschool_jungle

Multifarious
January 10th 2014



97 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I'm pretty sure his comment was meant to mock me, Brostep.

Multifarious
January 10th 2014



97 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I clearly made a mistake with this review, and I apologize for not doing enough research. The corrections are appreciated (more civil tones would have been preferred, but it is the internet after all).

Multifarious
January 10th 2014



97 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Although, despite all of this, I still maintain that this album is not a quality release, regardless of what genre it falls into.

LilLioness
January 15th 2014



2496 Comments


Maybe I just hearing an entirely different record but I am kinda digging what I am hearing so far pretty hard.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy