It’s a party with MC Lars, Hipster Mom is there, plus ten things to never say on a first date.
On the 6th of November MC Lars drops his fourth studio album. The Zombie Dinosaur LP is in part a reflection of the past with call-backs and updates of fan favourite songs whilst other tracks span a broad range of pop culture topics from The Simpsons to Game of Thrones and beyond.
For an insight into the creative process behind MC Lars new album it’s also worth checking out his recent mixtape 22 Concepts (But a hit definitely still ain’t one). Though much of the tracklisting for ’22 Concepts’ comprises of songs Lars has featured on with other artists over the last couple of years, and short punk rock interludes, you’ll find follow up tracks to a couple of his biggest crowd pleasers. Signing Dubstep forms a sequel to Signing Emo from Lars’ 2006 release The Graduate, whilst Crowdfund This Song plays on the concept of Download This Song, also from the same album. These tracks didn’t make the cut for the new album but what we learn is that Lars spent some time revisiting the past for this latest record.
Indeed, two familiar concepts return on the main release, The Zombie Dinosaur LP. Album opener Where Ya Been Lars? 2, makes perfect sense as a recurring idea which began on his 2008 release, This Gigantic Robot Kills, which serves as a brief list of highlights from the last four years of life on the road. Another update from that album finds Hipster Girl all grown up as Hipster Mom, a fine observation of privileged modern motherhood.
Lars hasn’t been shy about putting much of the new album out into the public arena ahead of its official general release. Having successfully kickstarted the album, backers received digital copies more than a month ago with physical copies landing on my doormat just one day ahead of the 6th of November due date. More than that, there have already been five videos from the thirteen available tracks. First came the Game of Thrones inspired Dragon Blood. Then the homage to Lars’ favoured character from The Simpsons in The Ballad Of Hans Moleman. After that came the visual for the reflective and inspiring song Triforce followed by the video for Never Afraid featuring Watsky.
More recently comes a low budget accompaniment for Sublime With Rome (Is Not The Same Things As Sublime) on which Lars bemoans, as the title suggests, groups reforming after the death of a key member of the band.
If that wasn’t a big enough taster for the album, Lars stepped back to 2005 this week and put The Zombie Dinosaur LP up on MySpace to stream in its entirety, though I’m damned if I can find it now.
Musically there are familiar influences throughout the album. Unless you’re a complete newbie to MC Lars you’ll know to expect what the vocalist describes as ‘Post Punk, Laptop Rap’ and more recently ‘Lit Hop’. You’ll find a smattering of Ska on the aforementioned Sublime with Rome (Is not the same as Sublime) whilst Dragon Blood features an infusion of rock guitar (even borrowing a little from Rage Against The Machine). The Dip featuring Kool Keith ramps that rock/rap vibe up a touch more with added Who Framed Roger Rabbit references. If I Were A Jedi (That Would Be Hella Awesome) had me ready to bust into a rendition of Tricky by Run DMC and features Brian Mazzaferri from I Fight Dragons. English literature is a recurring topic within Lars’ music and this time around he pays tribute to Jack Kerouac on the track Forgot About Jack.
It’s perhaps the more lighthearted tracks that capture my imagination most on ‘Zombie Dinosaur’, the final line on the skittish The Top Ten Things To Never Say On A Date kills me every time, meanwhile the short Party With Lars featuring Spose had me laughing out loud and is by far my most played song from the release.
Lars has a large and loyal fanbase for a few reasons. Lars puts on a great live show. Lars is the most approachable and fan oriented artist I’ve ever met. Lars makes music that is a huge amount of fun, sounds great, includes many cross-genre influences, is hugely accessible and always presents a few surprises. What’s not to love?