Swollen Members, the duo of Madchild and Prevail, along with beatsmith Rob The Viking, have killing it on the underground scene since the mid 90s. Their 1999 debut Balance, was widely acclaimed and is one of those albums that fans still bump, even 10 years later. Repping a little place known as Vancouver, S&M have dropped six well received studio albums in addition to their three compilations. Monsters 2 is the sequel to the Monsters In The Closet compilation released in 2002 and finds S&M once again on their grind.
Monsters 2 keeps the familiar Swollen sound in tact with the usual dark piano laden beats that make you want to leave the light on. “Trust” and “Perfect Storm” featuring Rakaa Iriscience are perfect examples of this as Rob The Viking starts the album off on the right foot. “Dream Chaser” and “Broken Mirror” are a bit more laid back and are reminiscent of a few of the tracks on the Balance LP. “Heartland” and “Mean Streets” featuring Souls Of Mischief again bring another sonic Swollen Members trademark; flutes. Both tracks are decent, but seem a little dated. For the most part beat wise, Monsters 2 is on point, as Rob covers all of the bases of the usual Swollen Members production.
Lyrically, Mad Child and Prevail also don’t stray far from their comfort zone. “Agent Orange” and “Sound Burial” feature the trademark angry Mad Child voice, but don’t blow the listener away. “Execution” featuring Krondon, Phil Da Agony and Opio and A-Plus is more of a lyrical gem as the posse cut comes across as a competition. In this case it’s a good thing as every one holds their own. Though Mad and Prev are talented emcees, Monsters 2 doesn’t show them dropping anything particular memorable. This is not to say that the songs are not enjoyable as there are a few joints bump. The problem lies in the fact that it’s easy to just listen to the album all the way through without there being a lot of replay value. In that way, Monsters 2 is enjoyable, but not memorable. Though it is worth a listen, Monsters 2 is not built for heavy rotation.
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