SKY HIGH FLY GUYS
Live . . . Before You Die
As you might imagine, given their name, the Sky High Fly Guys — D-Man, Rome Edwards, and Chris Author R.A.W. — have lofty ambitions. Even if their new LP, “Live . . . Before You Die,” doesn’t always rise to the desired altitude, there’s more than enough to suggest that they’ll hit the mark on subsequent trips. The chemistry is there: Riding a jerky off-beat bounce on “Til’ We Skydive (Still Gettin’ Money),” Chris slips sharp wordplay into his nimble flow, while Rome punches his lines with deliberate clarity. With an easy youthful charisma and skills to spare, the crew could make a whole album of tracks that play on those strengths (“For a G” and “Zingin’ Pt. 2” being strong examples). But admirably, they challenge themselves with impressive results on “Kids With Guns (The Sonic Youth),” a stark examination of gun culture featuring one of the album’s strongest productions, and the soulful introspection of “Dreams (Work It Out).” It’s disappointing, then, that the album’s composition holds it back; a 10-minute radio show freestyle inserted midway through breaks up the sequencing, as does the strange choice to include limp remakes of Raekwon’s “Ice Cream” and OutKast’s “Spottieottiedopalicious.” Still, here’s to things looking up.
Essential “Kids With Guns (The Sonic Youth)”