|Full-length collaborations have become the new currency in today's hip-hop game. Right and left, emcees, producers, and turntablists alike are joining together behind cooperative musical efforts. Inevitably, some pairings prove better than others. Gawd Bless the Faceless Cowards, fusing the paranormal flows of rapper Circus and the organic handiwork of producer Andre Afram Asmar, pays first-rate dividends.
Gawd Bless the Faceless Cowards pushes left-field hip-hop into (literally) alien dimensions. Strains of spellbinding dub, spaced-out beat work, and skewed sound effects cultivate narcotic, free-verse ruminations on UFOs, biblical judgment, and politics. The cohesion on display here is striking: As Circus weaves warped tales of alien abduction and political power struggles, Asmar proves an interplanetary backdrop teeming with paranoia and deception.
On, "Bully" Circus' stream-of-consciousness rhymes shine through a juxtaposing of the war in Iraq against the ill effects of fast food, while on "Who Killed Me?" Asmar invokes an ambitious influx of experimental soundscapes, blending Middle Eastern, African, and Western rhythms. Much more than just a melting pot of ideas, Asmar's multicultural mixing reveals dexterity well beyond his years. By the time you regain control of your senses, the damage from Gawd Bless the Faceless Cowards has already been done. - Grooves