The Lynnfield Pioneers – Free Popcorn

4 out of 5

Produced by: Greg Talenfeld (Engineered by)

Label: Matador

The anarchic crunch of the Lynnfield’s debut gave way to what would be a generally inadvisable genre mash: combining the group’s punky verve with hip-hop.  The cheesy cover and lack of previous direct hints to this direction may not bode well, but the group delivers: Arriving like a cannon-shot with Astral Plane and into the slick and silly bop of The Accolades, Free Popcorn somehow manages to do exactly as pitched, blending the sloppy, loopy madness with a heavier beat focus and rhymed lines as opposed to shouted ones.  But what’s even more impressive is when the group manages to move behind this concept to even richer territory, such as on the deep groove of Anamaxamander, or the slick aggression of the title track, or the almost moving Wide Open Space.  And if there was ever a style over substance claim, check the proggy keyboard jam of Feels So Good: there is planning to this chaos.

The quality exists from track to track, but the momentum does fall apart somewhat towards the end, with the last few songs not really syncing well with the flow.  And, yeah, were not claiming lyrical superiority here; this is mostly a beat-first experience.

But, as intended, the beat definitely gets you moving.