LARS ATTACKS! is a 15-track album released 9/6/2011 by MC Lars. The album is “about faith and karma and how that can play out, positively or negatively,” states Lars’ press kit, and that is something unfamiliar and refreshing – like the album.
Each of the tracks on the album concentrates on an intensely emotional journey, whether of physical distance, time, personal growth or loss. For example, the opening track, Going Back To Brooklyn, talks about finding a spiritual home in Brooklyn where so many of Lars’ heroes originate, and letting his art flow in that nurturing atmosphere.
The album has an overall vibe of positivity, of encouragement, of moving out of one’s past. Francis Bacon Slashed The Canvas (featuring John Reuben) talks about recognizing people who are negative influences in our lives, who drag us down, and taking that power away from them.
The Gospel Of Hip-Hop (featuring KRS-One) and How To Be An Indie Rapper (featuring Weerd Science) speak very honestly about hip-hop culture and the music business, respectively, and how to be true to your beliefs and your dreams without selling out or allowing others to take advantage.
The title track Lars Attacks! harks back to sci-fi and horror movies (complete with a Thriller-type disclaimer before the video, here,) and is a statement about standing up, standing for something, and kicking raps. It’s a lot of fun, too.
The Giving Tree (featuring Mac Lethal) and Mike Russo Cut Your Hair are about friendship, about family, about giving back to your loved ones and to your heritage.
Lars continues a signature trend with Annabel Lee R.I.P., bringing Edgar Allan Poe and hip-hop together again. His rhythms and word choice are stellar, keeping both the unique lilt of Poe’s verse and the updated language of his own style in elegant harmony.
It’s not the most polite of songs, but History’s Greatest Assholes is a romp through the villains of the world, flinging their sins out for us all to see, and calling them out. One of my favorites:
Gavrilo Princip shot Franz Ferdinand
Which lead to World War I and a famous Scottish Band
Which lead to World War II and freaking bodies everywhere
As a newbie to this music genre (I’m more of a Celtic/classical/folk nerd) I enjoyed this album tremendously, and I will definitely be searching out more of Lars’ work. He mixes modern, urban language with statements that I can relate to, and name-drops people and incidents that click for me. My personal favorite tracks are Annabel Lee R.I.P. and The Giving Tree. I love the mix of literary reference and personal interpretation Lars brings to these two tracks.
LARS ATTACKS! is an album that will resonate with “nerdy indie rap kids” and more mainstream fans alike. From the classical cello and violin backing Art Of Darkness (featuring Sage Francis) to the panicky radio caller of Lars Attacks!, MC Lars is giving us his personal manifesto, and he’s on the attack with it.