4 Elements

4 Elements

by Chronic Future


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The kinetic push of 4 Elements' opener "Jump to Jive" proves to be more than a little misleading. The remaining 45 minutes of suburban rap posturing only hint at the interesting possibilities that this 2000 alternative rap-metal release initially suggests. MC Mike Busse deftly handles the microphone, his delivery is percussive and devious, and when he actually sings aggressively during the chorus of "The Majik," it's obvious that he has a strong set of pipes. Guitarist Ben Collins, bassist/turntablist Brandon Lee, and drummer Barry Collins all do a fine job laying down funky hard rock grooves but, as a unit, these four musicians fail to sustain any real intensity over this, their debut for Beyond Records. With an average age around 18 at the time of 4 Elements' recording, Chronic Future had already authored two independent records and toured extensively. Despite all the studio and concert experience, the Scottsdale, AZ, youngsters failed to find and record their own unique sound, and the performances on this 14-track disc suffer. Busse and the guitar-playing Collins flow nicely through staccato guitar and vocal repetitions -- à la Rage Against the Machine -- just as Lee's intermittent vinyl scratches and churning basslines provide color and depth. The frequent low points of this record are the flat attempts at 311-style dancehall hooks. If Chronic Future didn't sound so distracted while mumbling through the atonal choruses -- which were clearly meant to be melodic and memorable -- songs like "Run for Shelter" and "Live Again" could have had a chance. Considering their moniker's reference, and an obvious allegiance to outspoken herb connoisseurs 311, these pale, throwaway melodies -- pasted into more dynamic material -- were likely meant to communicate a laid-back or trippy yin to the aggro yang. Unfortunately, 4 Elements relies heavily on this flawed equation and the results are scattered and awkward.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/22/2000
Label: Beyond Records
UPC: 0639857810823
catalogNumber: 578108
Rank: 274300

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