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Typical Cats Civil Service Galapagos4 • 2004

'We have waged a rebel resistance to that cynical enemy of the listeners and true heads – the Establishment -' No, this is not the start of another Star Wars movie but a quote from the facts sheet to Typical Cat’s sophomere release 'Civil Service'. Their first album introduced them as accurate MC’s with a funky, solid production. Now, the Service is back to fight the Establishment because these Typical Cats ain't your regular kind of MC's.

Qwel, Qwazaar, Denizen Kane and producer/DJ Natural are one of the highlight acts on Chicago label Galapagos4. With 'Civil Service' they return harder as ever. The lyrics are innovative, to the point and, of course, drained in resistance. Each member has his own style of rappin; Denizen has the raw voice with a tight flow reminding somehow of Mr Lif and Qwel has a unique playful way of MC-ing. They play with language and seem to set their limits higher, one step at a time. It takes some effort from the listener to really get into their lyrics but as I said before, these Typical Cats ain't your regular kind of MC's. What keeps hip-hop fresh of course. On '12th Story', Denizen Kane even drops some spoken word and both Qwel and Qwazaar go solo on ‘Drink Ticket’ and 'Butterfly Knivs'. The production by DJ Natural is an essential part of the album's strength. Without these well-crafted, groovy beats mixed with live instruments such as guitar, keys and bass, the lyrics wouldn't come out that clear, for one, and, secondly, this album would not have been better than the first TC album. If it's gonna sell more than the first LP is a question mark, but considering the more consistent recording of this one, chances are far from odd. More highlights of the album are the opening track 'Can't Save', the first 12” of the album, 'Easy Cause It Is', 'The Trouble' with some superb rhymes and the superfunky 'Style Wars Theory'.

'Civil Service' is a fine album, a contribution to independent hip-hop, and fresh alternative to the non-creative, souless music that dominates the airwaves. As quoted from the promo facts sheet: 'We are fulfilling the broken promises of the Establishment. We are the the architects of our future', a promise that doesn’t seem too unrealistic after you’ve heard 'Civil Service'.

POSTED ON 06|16|2005 by cpf

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