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By Aaron Brown

Wormwood, an experimental MC, out of The Missoula, comes out strong on Benders, Breakers, Leavers, Takers. Taking full advantage of an overly developed vocabulary, Wormwood delivers great bars, witty one liners, and cheeky sarcasm like a classically trained poet. Experimenting with sound, he uses everything from jazz horns to what sounds like a broken stage microphone and other indistinct recording methods to produce a sound entirely his own.

After “Award Ceremoaning,” the opening track, I braced myself for what was to come, feeling the creativity ooze from my headphones. I was excited by the perfectly matched raw, gritty vocals and the dirty, grimy beat and production techniques. Excited by the prospect of experiencing something completely different than I am used to, I began the journey. What I found was an intense listening experience that can only be described as “Wow!”

Throughout the album, there is an excessive amount of background noise that has a tendency to drown out the vocals, at some points leaving the listener guessing. For the casual listener, the noise can be distracting. I’m not sure if it is intentional, but for the most part, I find that the guess work makes for a more enjoyable album. Almost an interactive experience, the noise has a way of drawing the listener further into the lyrics.

Honorable mention goes to three tracks, which is not to discount any of the other tracks, “Award Ceremoaning,” “Scarab,” and “Body Shakes.” These three stood out in my mind the most for varying reasons . “Award Ceremoaning” was a great track to lead with as it hinted at the experimental nature of the rest of the album. “Scarab” showcased his lyrical ability in conjunction with his songwriting skills as exampled by the hook. “Body Shakes” was a personal track, showing a little more emotion than the rest.

As a consumer of lyrical hip-hop, Wormwood is an artist with the potential to be a lyrical powerhouse, whose ability is only overshadowed by his own creativity. IF he could just tone down the “noise.”

Listen to the album at the link below: