Dr. Octagon - Moosebumps: An Exploration Into Modern Day Horripilation
Comeback albums; usually not awesome. Kool Keith; basically always pretty fucking awesome. I can't say I was anticipating a new Dr. Octagon full length in 2018, 22 years after the incredible debut album Dr. Octagonecologyst, and 12 years since the character was ungraciously killed off on the sketchy The Return Of Dr. Octagon. I love the first Dr. Octagon album deeply, it's an incredibly weird, and heavily inspired collaboration. It would be pretty silly and maybe insulting to expect Kool Keith to be the exact same creative person as he was over two decades ago. However, I was very pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed Moosebumps: An Exploration Into Modern Dark Horripilation. The whole crew is back for the reunion. Dan the Automator yet again delivers on his special boom-bap oddball production, which perfectly blends a grand, and colorful space age atmosphere, with gritty, lo-fi weirdness. And lots of guitar too, culminating in the track "Karma Sutra", which has a beat crafted almost completely out of distorted, metal-chug guitar riffs. The string samples on the track "Operation Zero" are a nice little callback to the fan favorite track "Blue Flowers" too. DJ Qbert's scratching and production flourishes are still tight and sharp, putting on some party flair like it's 1996. His own sequel track, "Bear Witness IV" is a real stand-out, with it's pulsing horns and smokey, laid back bass line. This really is a proper reunion and it comes through successfully. Kool Keith’s lyrics are the one thing that maybe aren't as top tier as the rest of the crew. The distinct lack of real quotable lines, creative plays on words, or even just memorable gibberish that made lines on Dr. Octagonecologyst memorable aren't really here. There isn't any "SUCK MY OIL!" or "Oh shit, there's a horse in the hospital" on this record. The monotony of the opening track "Octagon Octagon" is a real test of patience for many I'm sure, with Kool Keith using the word "octagon" after almost every other word. I kind of look at it as a metaphor for how much the fan base of Dr. Octagon has gone up in the modern days, and how we're all "Octagon crazy.” But in the end, it's a very solid comeback record. (VII)
Check out a track here.