Almost unanimously he's admired and respected by peers and critics alike. And when it comes to releasing music? Let's say, he's prolific. Since September last year he's put out The Browncoats Mixtape, No Rest, Juggernaut, Parks & Rec, and ME3, the former a full length album produced by Mikal kHill and inspired by the sci-fi series, Firefly. The rest, all EPs available to download for free from his website.
Even with the constraints of touring Adam was able to record new material, improvising by recording his vocals for the No Rest EP through the microphone of his iPhone headphones. You couldn't tell if you didn't know.
It's cause for celebration then that Warrock has bestowed upon us his second, full-length album titled, 'You Dare Call That Thing Human?!?' It's been a long time since I was as excited by a new album as this one. But it was with apprehension that I hit play on that first track, nervous that this album couldn't possibly live up to my expectations.
"at almost two and a half minutes long it feels like a chore to get through"Album opener, 'On The Subject of Normal... (intro). Is a sedate, spoken piece with a positive message. It should set the album up nicely, but at almost two and a half minutes long it feels like a chore to get through and with subsequent listens I've found myself skipping straight to track two where the album really begins with 'Human?!? An eerie opening builds to Warrock delivering in a darker style to what we're used to hearing. A vocal effect on the double track alters the pitch a touch, reminding me of MC Lars' 'Venomous Box Jellyfish' from his album, 'Lars Attacks'.
A bit of a shaky start then. But by the time 'Retcon' sparks to life, all reservations I had are fading, fast. The production is big on this very accessible anthem. Warrock's delivery hovers over strings and keys, never missing a beat. It's immediately obvious that this stand-out track is a true representation of Adam Warrock at his very best.
We've already heard '616', it was the first single released a while ago. And yet, following 'Retcon' it feels larger than before. Again the production is spot on, everything is mixed just right giving a punchy end product.
At the mid-way point 'I Kill Giants' is another stand out track which finds Warrock exhibiting what he does so well. Drawing on his personal experiences and telling a sincere tale which twists negatives into positives. It's a slower pace with a recurrent piano riff throughout.
Nerdcore heavyweights, Beefy and int80 (of Dual Core) feature on 'MLF' (Mutant Liberation Front) a fairly simple track, musically, but fun with Warrock, Beefy and int80's unique deliveries more than making up for it. 'You Might Like It (Interlude)' is a bit of a half arsed skit, but at just under a minute long it's barely a distraction.
Ten tracks in and Warrock opens up his 'Sensitive Side'. The nerd rapper's take on the obligatory 'one for the ladies'. As something of a parody it's bearable but, for me, the weakest track on the album.
"It's immediately obvious that this stand-out track is a true representation of Adam Warrock at his very best."
Tribe One and Gary Samurai add their talents to 'Civil War', commenting on Warrock's roots in the south of America. Things bounce along until just beyond the mid-way point the track takes a more brash direction towards it's conclusion which includes more spoken word. 'Beast I.Z' continues where 'Civil War' finished off on a more serious tone taking the pace down a touch as Warrock now focuses on the challenges he's faced fitting in at times in his life.
The penultimate offering, 'Inhuman' doesn't offer any surprises as this logical album closer chugs to a close. The actual final track is a bonus titled, 'Andrew Garfield @ SDCC (Joules remix)' which samples, unsurprisingly, Andrew Garfield between Warrock's verses.
With the physical CD (including a digital download) costing $12 and international shipping adding a further $7 I can offset the fairly hefty £12 price tag by taking into account the huge amount of free music Adam Warrock has released in recent times.
Could I justify that cost to someone encountering Warrock for the first time? Well... intro and interlude aside, yes. Absolutely! 'You Dare Call That Thing Human?!?' gifts us twelve solid tracks of which two in particular, 'Retcon' and 'I Kill Giants', stand proud. As a body of work it's consistent. The production values are high and Warrock demonstrates his ability as a talented emcee. If you've any hesitation at all about buying this release then my advice would be, check out his website. Download the free stuff and then imagine the best of that in a more polished form. It's all the endorsement you need.
Adam Warrock is hugely talented and destined for great things. For that reason he remains one of my favourite current artists.
The question is, will he eventually turn his attentions away from nerdcore in search of a larger audience as others (even those guesting on this album) have done so before? I sincerely hope not.