E. Town Concrete – The Renaissance

E. Town Concrete
The Renaissance

Whenever I hear terms like “rap-rock” or “rap-core” I cringe with thoughts of Limp Bizkit and their ilk. It’s just not a genre that I tend to gravitate toward, and because of this I was dreading listening to E.Town Concrete’s first release on Razor & Tie, The Renaissance. Contrary to my hestitation, when I slipped the Jersey band’s CD in for the first listen I was quite fascinated by what I heard. Yes, E.Town Concrete blends rap and hardcore together – there’s no denying that. However, they also blend elements of progressive metal, Latin guitar, straightforward rock, and even dabs of reggae.
E. Town Concrete comes off as a hardcore band that greatly reflect the environment of the members’ upbringing in industrial Elizabeth, NJ. So it comes as no surprise that the foursome have incorporated so much of their urban surroudnings into their unique style of music.There’s opener “Mandibles,” which incorporates all that’s heavy about metal with massive lyrical prowess. This sets the tone for much of the album and is reflected in othe tracks like “Battle Lines,” “Punch the Walls,” and “Appetite for Distinction.” The band definitely leans more toward the metal and hardcore end of the spectrum, but the production is crystal clear and the vocals, which sometimes lean toward an all-out growl, come through the mix perfectly. One of the great things about this album is that just when you think it’s all about heavy music, the group throws in something like “Let’s Go,” which features some absolutely beautiful Latin acoustic guitar.
E. Town Concrete is the type of band that fans of nu-metal and rap-rock should be listening to because these guys truly know how to combine elements of metal, rap, and hardcore without sounding cheesy or like just another group following the latest trend. The Renaissance is an album that shows you what you’re hearing isn’t manufactured by a studio or record label, it’s a direct reflection of the life experience of each member. Though E. Town Concrete hasn’t made me a huge fan of this style of music, I know this album will appeal to a variety of people. The Renaissance is an all-around solid effort that showcases all that’s good about the unity of hardcore and rap.