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Rip It Up Boyz!

Coldharbour Rocks
(V2/Jive Street)

Almost like clockwork now, I've gone and gotten myself addicted to one big-beat album every summer for the past several years. The discs that I end up playing on repeat over and over again are usually something that during the dead of winter (and peak listening season for darker music) I'd end up not admitting to like, but there's something about the summer and loud music with huge full-throttle beats that sticks in my head and keeps me rolling through the hot weather.

I almost hate to admit it, but two summers ago, I got completely hooked on the Prodigy's Fat Of The Land. Then, last summer, the album that fueled my biking trips and jogging more often than not was Junkie XL's Saturday Teenage Kick. This summer, I basically figured that my player would be dominated by the Chemical Brothers Surrender, but it just didn't inspire the summer-flava that I thought it would. Interestingly enough, the loud-rockin' album that's found it's way into my player this summer is none other than a disc released back in 1997 by a group that I had yet to hear something by until just last month.

Coldharbour Rocks is a disc of 9 tracks that slam almost all the way. Things start off with "Screaming Headz" and never really look back at all. Bursting out of the gates at 128 BPM (they're provided for you on the disc, I'm not that good), the song has a huge beat, blips and bleeps, and a strange screaming sample tweaked out over the whole thing. After melting down into a mess of found sound, things move right into the second track "Weird Planet" without much of a breather. It sounds a little more simple with fewer things going on at the same time, but once again, it's all about getting things moving. "Spacefunk" starts out with a smidge of beat boxing and a great baseline before leaping into another high-BPM track with what sounds like hijacked Speak N Spell sounds in the background. The group dips into breakbeats a bit on the track "Trepanning" before heading straight back into the hop-up beats for the last couple of tracks. The album closer "Buggin' & Breakin' is the only song on the disc that dips below 120 BPM, and it's a nice, slower closer for the disc that leans more to the hip-hop side of things for an influence.

Basically, this release is for those who like big beats without wanting to feel ashamed in the morning. The tracks are well constructed, catchy numbers that never manage to linger on for too damn long (the 9 songs clock in at just over 40 minutes). If you're into big-beat stuff, you could do a lot worse.

Rating: 7