Review Summary: drunk and sad and happy and stoned and self-aware and poor and drunk and stoned and
I think Injury Reserve make party music for when the party has died down and most people have either left or haphazardly thrown their brain in a box for the night. There’s a suture running through the centre of this EP, separating the rumination from the leftover ecstasy; the internal monologue from the unfiltered, drunken stream-of-consciousness. Images like this, that come to me unbidden, position Injury Reserve at the cross section between lyrical, “artsy” (ugh) rap and the sort of hip-hop splashing paint carefree upon the surface level (for what it’s worth: I believe both styles are of equal merit, no matter how much I favour the former). I like the idea that both sides exist symbiotically; as in, the high and the comedown acknowledge each other’s flaws, whilst still finding a way to coexist. Such a dynamic is how it should be; in BOOM X3
, the hook is aggressive, potent, while the beat is smoky and eidolic, presenting this interplay clearly and in a way that illustrates balance and self-awareness. Obviously, the dudes who somehow manage to boast about their humility use this relationship to pivot themselves away from their contemporaries. Whenever a lyric seems to be of import (“I don’t do the rap thing, but I can actually understand you, I dig that”
), Groggs and/or Ritchie with a T undermine it with a snarky response (”I get that, but we won’t agree as much as you think”
). And, at under half an hour, there isn’t a moment that the record falls out of step with its own parameters. It snakes around and simmers, hollowing out that space in the middle where the party continues; more quiet, granted, but equally buzzing with joyful delirium. On Drive It Like It's Stolen
, Injury Reserve deliver us good music borne out of bad decisions.