REVIEW: “The Asymmetry of Life” (Bent Twig)
(The Asymmetry of Life is available for FREE download. Click here or above for the link.)
The Six’s first great summer riding soundtrack dropped last Friday with hardly a peep or tweet heard in local hip-hop’s otherwise boisterous online stomping ground. Cali-natives Soos and Preach, known together as Bent Twig, released a surprisingly capable and confident full-length debut album called The Asymmetry of Life that has thus far gone virtually undetected by the local blogs (save for yours truly and its compatriots at Seattle Show Gal). The conspicuous presence of Town players Ill Pill, Scenik, Grynch, Sol, and Geologic on the album, adds a further (and surprising) validity to this under-the-radar release.
The Asymmetry is a fifteen-track collection of laid-back, breezy, hip-hop, with funk/disco/pop sensibilities. Bent Twig (whose members grew up together on a street of the same name in Camarillo, CA) value the positive mental attitude derived from such feel-good music, which is a perfect accompaniment to backyard barbecues and cook-outs at Alki Beach. As the weather begins to transition, their debut album is just in time for such events.
Bent Twig’s rhyme topics are lighthearted and relatively narrow in scope. The party life is celebrated in an inoffensive way (“Good Music”); pursuing love and shorties is described with a PG-13 rating (“Cinderella Girl”); and motivational pep talks and commemoration of loved ones are included, too (“Can’t Go On” and “Like You”). Preach and Soos deliver their lyrics via casual conversational flow or in half-sung emcee stylings. It may all sound like cotton candy rap and, for the most part, it is. But Preach and Soos are so unrelenting in their positivity, all their good-guy talk comes across as genuine and endearing, not annoying or preachy.
Sonically, everything here is danceable and easy to listen to. Disco and funk inflections are prevalent throughout, but unlike many recent local releases with similar influences, futuristic bleeps and blips and other musical nods toward the extra-terrestrial are noticeably absent. It’s a welcome respite. Bent Twig has found a comfort within its style, fully knowing what its sound is and embracing it with satisfying results.
Currently, Preach and Soos are both attending college (the former at the University of Washington, the latter at Arizona State) which makes it all the more impressive they’ve found time to produce and release an album of such quality. On May 27, the official album release party will pop off at High Dive. The noise around Bent Twig might be relatively quiet now, but more folks are likely to get hip to this duo as word gets out, and deservedly so — they’re a worthy new addition to the Town movement.