Album (p)Review: "Volume Control" by Vicious Cycle #nowPlaying

The ladies of Vicious Cycle are back on that microphone bullyball shit with their sophomore offering Volume Contol...

Volume Control begins with an enthusiastic and sincere cosign from DJ Symphony, the deejay for Wu-tang's Raekwon the Chef. From there, the throwback rap duo of Money Stax and Neeky Devero launch into the prototypical crowd mover Goosebumps, and slides smoothly into the body of the record, whose moments of emotional vulnerability and chest-thumping aggression both feel equally sincere. The "I-can-do-better-on-my-own" anthem Sure Thing will be blasting out of many frustrated chicks' car stereos if they have better taste in music than men. In fact, songs like Caught Up and the transcendantly dope I Don't Know Anymore also transparently display the difficulty of being a strong-willed and independent woman in love with an equally strong-willed dude.
The larger-than-life rap personas show their humanity on this album, and yet stay true to the hard-rhyming action comedy vibe of the first album. They help bridge to the previous joint with a few slick remixes of Vagina Chronologue cuts by contest winners culled (I assume) from the internets. A hilarious sample from the Jim Carey comedy Me, Myself, and Irene launches into You People Again which marries the vocals to VC's hit You People to a beat that feels like a one-drop classic. The provocatively titled Tits and Ass is re-imagined as Devero Meets Stax. The best of the bunch of revisists is Phone Call Returned, produced by Nasa Playstation. These cuts don't feel like remixes. I only knew Phone Call Returned was a remix because I recognized the lyrics: "Get ignored cause you spit it poor, what you in it for? Devero and Stax stab your backs like a kitchen drawer..." which I must have chuckled out at my friends a hundred times when Neeky barked it out on the first record. A nice way to ensure there will be no sophomore jinx, these remixes are fresh enough to smuggle some proven dopeness from Vagina Chronologue onto this one without frustrating heads that already copped the first joint.
As it turns out, there's more than enough various forms of flambe on Volume Control to go around. The underground emcee anthem Never Enough (f. Alsace & The Rapture) is honestly worth the price of admission by itself. Rounded out by the quirky Recess (f. Showoff and 7even:Thirty) and the Stevie-sampling single Made To Love (f. Von Pea), I found Volume Control to be worth its weight. In the end, who knows if today's rap audience (conditioned to check for effeminate dudes in tight jeans and female rappers who would seemingly rather be singers or strippers) will be as turned on by the efforts of this pair of relentless mic stranglers as I am. I think there are heads out there who will pick up what VC is putting down. If you're reading this, maybe you're one of them. If so, click here to cop Volume Control on bandcamp, tough guy!
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