MUSIC: THINGS ARE CHANGING EP X PEASANT BOYS (ALBUM REVIEW)
Coming off an amazing project, "Ghost Town", with friend and fellow scenester KhrisPKream the need for a follow up was not mandatory but necessary in activating the type of narrative to get the PeasantBoys name over the hump. "Ghost Town" was a classic, I'm sure it is not and will not be officially crowned until years down the road - but it will be making it a hard act to follow.
What the Peasant Boys do this time around with Selfless (whom did all of the EP production) is actually what I had originally envisioned them to do with or without KhrisP and that is blatantly blend genres. Knowing JaixJrm personally their ears seem to be set to a different frequency and while they find joy in modern day bullshit (Young Thug) there are respectable artist in house, electronic, jazz, R&B, punk, alternative, classical, etc that they know just as much about and can reference catalog. So it caught me off guard to hear them put together such a well-rounded rap album that sounds like now and not a worm hole of the future. Surprising I loved it, knowing that they aren't just artsy fartsy and can participate (impressively) in the game being played instead of engaging in the average struggling artist format to "change the game". So maybe that was the perfect set up for "Things Are Changing".
From the title track you hear/feel the change. Instead of traditional hip-hop noise you here the electronic influence immediately, there is an incredibly long build-up that warrants intro type vibes and then enters Jrm. The bars are present, the cadence is present, but what gets the party going is their uncanny ability to use their voices as instruments and the moment Jrm begins belting lyrics instead of saying them I become lost in the world they created. It’s a style that I have seen before but they execute flawlessly time and time again. The songs that stuck out to me on the first full run of the EP are the songs that stick out to me still. "Black Out" is the height and core of the energy – it gets going pretty quickly and feels like they’re running as they’re rapping – maybe through a narrow tunnel with a spotlight behind them. Forgive my storyboard tangent.
"Black Out" also offers my favorite content from the Peasant Boys, that urgency to make it and be better than even they thought they could become and their passion to push forward in the face of a bland eyed fan base. It’s basically their ethos – from peasants to kings all while being wide awake for the dream. So far they have made maybe 5 songs about it and it never gets old. Another arena of content Peasant Boys conquer is social issues and "Serfs Up" touches on the current state of affairs vividly but the production value makes it more like a lecture than an enjoyable album cut, but still it feels necessary. These two are content kings and they would be doing us a disservice by not offering their observations, critiques and ideas about the tragedy that is America.
To cap it all off they put their angst into Vice City, adding the scream-o track behind their vocals leading to "HEADBANG" a certified banger on Soundcloud and at every live show this year. "Things Are Changing" is literal and following "Ghost Town" necessary to the growth of an already cult like Peasant Boys' fan base. If you’re a fan it is critical you play this EP in a car in a deserted parking lot with a bottle Jameson and 3 Marlboro 100’s.