Though many people find it hard to understand what rabid word purveyor Aesop Rock says, and may still be deciphering the meat of it hours or even days after a feeding, few can deny that there is definite passion behind the man’s madness. Although he has yet to dumb things down for the lay person, his latest album None Shall Pass, opens up a little more than previous efforts in an attempt to be more digestible.
Take “Catacomb Kids,” a song also produced by Rock, which is more accessible sonically and even ends with a nod to MC legend Slick Rick. Elsewhere, “Bring Back Pluto,” rides an ominous bassline as it discloses discussion about the dissolution of the former 9th planet’s status. “Fumes,” is dominated by a persistent wind instrument, loping bass, and old school scratches to blend together a tale of fidelity. While “Getaway Car,” featuring Aesop brethren Cage and Breeze Brewin, and produced by the indelible Blockhead, is an old school hip-hop track dominated by percussion.
Other notable tracks include “No City,” a bluesy Noir tale that is helped along by a dash of keyboard and moody lead guitar. And, “The Harbor Is Yours,” a fairytale joint replete with the lines “once upon a time…” and including allusions to The Lady In The Water and seafaring pirates. Bonus track “Pigs” is all its title entails!
There’s still plenty of garage band oomph and industrial noise intertwined with Aesop’s wondrous wordplay and ill rhyme schematics. However, this time around, that’s not all there is. Maybe the title means none shall pass this record by once they’ve had a listen?