Whatzup
Outbreak / The Nerve Calmer
Roleo & EDS

by Jason Hoffman The Nerve Calmer
Outbreak
For the last year two young hipsters known as Roleo and EDS have been working on revitalizing the Fort Wayne hip-hop scene. With the simultaneous release of The Nerve Calmer and Outbreak this duo proves that their efforts have not been in vain.

The Nerve Calmer features Roleo’s straightforward rhyme style with lyrics that focus on the “plight of the common 20-something man,” albeit a very responsible 20-something man. Raising a son (“LivinÇ Life”), working a steady job to provide for your family (“The Sign”) and avoiding the temptation to check out with drugs are common themes on these 14 tracks. Many of the rhymes bemoan the current state of hip-hop (“Speak Now,” “CTRL, ALT, DELETE” and “Pissed Off”), each with enough venom to start a revolution. The final two tracks, “Eyesore” and “Resin Rehab” are eerie soundscapes with dreamlike oratories that stir the soul to action. The lyrics throughout are clever and intelligent and yet retain a good deal of “everyman” appeal. Musically. it’s fairly straight-forward beats with a steady foundation of bass and drums with a nice variety of synth sounds on top, just enough to retain your interest but not so much as to distract from the rapping.

Outbreak is a solo album by EDS, and he cuts loose on the 14 instrumental tracks, unleashing a barrage of tonal sequences upon the ear. Nearly every track has excellent pacing and development, revealing the depth of EDS’s ability to put together a song. “Enfuego” is a hypnotic swirl of shimmering guitar sounds, while “The Unheard” starts with a deep cello that evokes a foghorn on a shrouded night before being joined by plucked strings and moody movie samples. In “Transcribe 2 Survive” a killer kick drum devours the low end while spacey synth tones race across the atmosphere, a nice companion to “Understudied,” where more original sounds emulate a flock of detuned bat-birds that ring modulate across a darkening sky. For a laugh he throws in “Cheese Bread” which uses a very, er, cheesy and flat sax sound for the main melody line while supporting the rest of the track with inventive drumming and bubbling waves of sound.

If these two albums are an indication of the future, Roleo & EDS will soon be masters of the Fort Wayne hip-hop scene, possibly venturing outside this tiny burg to spread their gospel of creative songwriting far and wide. To experience this adventure firsthand venture to your local Wooden Nickel or www.cdbaby.com.

Copyright 2004 Ad Media Inc.