Review:: The Zombie Dinosaur LP | MC Lars


Back in July, I was able to sit down and chat with MC Lars for a bit while I was covering Warped Tour. It was interesting to meet someone
with both an English degree and a full-time job (and yeah, I’m aware I’ve made that joke before. But if you’re just reading it now and you laughed, ignore this; I’m hilarious and my material is always new). Anyway, after a few other questions, I asked: “So, new album? What can we expect?” to which he replied, I quote loosely, “Well, it’ll be about all the same stuff the other hardcore gangsters rap about – I’ve got a song about Roger Rabbit, some Star Wars and Game of Thrones stuff, there’s a rap about Hans Moleman from The Simpsons – the basics.”

I’ve been a fan of Lars’ music for a while, and he’s been one of the more creative artists around ever since he got started, so what surprised me about what he was saying wasn’t the content, but how badly we all needed to hear this record.

“Where Ya Been, Lars?” starts things off with a little insight into the recent doings of our favorite laptop rapper – touring, recording, producing, prepping an educational kids’ TV show featuring robots
and spiders teaching history, etc. etc. Again, the basics. He introduces us to his fourth album as the opener slides into “Zombie T-Rex,” an attack anthem packed with a scream-filled chorus and a hook resembling Matchbook Romance’s “Monsters.” Whether that’s intentional or not, it’s what I hear, and it is extremely fitting, because the track is a beast.

With the news broadcast at the track’s conclusion depicting the reanimated prehistoric behemoth’s assault on San Francisco, trashing coffee shops and food trucks, I was expecting the sequel to “Hipster Girl” to show up next. Before we learn more about the next chapter of our BoHo adventurer, “Sublime With Rome (Is Not the Same Thing as Sublime)” lends hard support to the idea that it is always better to burn out bright than to fade away. Sometimes you’ve gotta know when to hang it up, boys.

I was listening to this album in my car the other day, and “Forgot About Jack” came on. Since it’s November and still seventy degrees, because of course it is, I had the windows down. A group of youths (Ugh. Youths.) were hanging out on the sidewalk, and I saw them nodding their heads to the beat. Well, joke’s on them, because little did they know they were LEARNING. MUAHHAHAHAHA. Take that, hooligans! Go read a book!

That being said, the literary element in Lars’ music has always been what sets him aside from other artists for me. Hell, my senior thesis was on Moby Dick and I ended up dissecting “Ahab” in a final presentation, so Lars pretty much got me my degree. On “Never Afraid,” he and Watsky coauthor a trip through their storybook memories. You get to hear the two rappers tell you how they became
who they are, and you listen to them carrying their childhoods with them throughout their adult lives.

You can’t argue that he’s nerdcore nobility and the CEO of Lit-Hop, but when Lars trims down on the allusions and references and opens up as an artist, he really flexes his songwriting muscles and shows he can run with the best of them.

Closer “Triforce” is one of these examples. Earlier I mentioned myself driving around and catching the ear of a few kids, but this time, this one was for me. An empty road coated with leaves, in my ’99 Jetta
that was on its last legs a year ago but still rumbling along, and the soft
“Power, wisdom, courage” chorus coming through the speakers. Acting as an open letter to old friends, there’s a harsh balance between looking at the past through a rose tint and at the present in stark grey realism.

Two choruses in, it clicked in my head that, more likely than not, things were going to get harsher. I was bracing myself for another memorial to Pat Wood, Lars’ college roommate that inspired the beautiful “Twenty-Three,” which ruined me the first time I heard it. But, rather, he catches up with another friend – Andrew. Hearing an artist’s stage persona call out from the speakers to their place in the real world was a strong way to close an album and a sharp piece of writing.

For me, there has been a lot of music to come out from a handful of my favorite artists this year, and it has all been fighting for my attention. So, for a record to come along and pull focus away from others, it’s gotta be something special. Like the title alludes to, The Zombie Dinosaur LP is a force that can’t be stopped.

Release Date: November 6th, 2015
Run Time: ~41 minutes
Rating: 3.85/5
Check Out: “Triforce,” “Never Afraid,” “Party With Lars”

Track listing:
1. Where Ya Been, Lars?
2. Zombie T-Rex
3. Sublime With Rome (is Not the Same Thing as Sublime)
4. Hipster Mom
5. Dragon Blood
6. If I Were A Jedi
7. Never Afraid
8. The Top 10 Things to Never Say on a First Date
9. The Ballad of Hans Moleman
10. The Dip
11. Party With Lars
12. Forgot About Jack
13. Triforce

Written by Eric Riley

50 Acts You Won’t Want To Miss At SXSW (Part 1)

It’s that time of year again and South By Southwest (SXSW) is just around the corner! We’ve decided to bring back our “50 Acts You Won’t Want To Miss” feature, which will run from today until March 16th, the day before the Music section of SXSW begins! Check out our first installment (acts 1-10, in no particular order) of artists we think you need to check out below!

*Note: some acts we’ve included are performing at South By So What?! and not South By South West. However, since the festival takes place during the week of South By Southwest, we’ve decided to still include them in our list!


Royal Teeth
After being a standout at the second Boston Calling festival, Royal Teeth have found continued commercial success over the last eighteen months or so. While they’ve been heard in a handful of ads or trailers, don’t mistake them for sellouts – it’s not their fault that their dual-vocalled brand of high-energy pop is unignorably catchy. Or, well, I suppose it is.
Where to catch Royal Teeth: 3.20 – 5pm – NoiseTrade Day Party @ Swan Dive; 3.21 – 5pm – BAM! The Future of Rock and Roll Vol 2 @ Peckerheads; 3.21 – 10PM – Official SXSW Showcase @ Buffalo Billiards; 3.22 – 4pm – South By Sendoff @ Stubb’s.

Following the success of their revival, coupled with a 5-year anniversary Illuminate tour, Lydia have been keeping busy. With performances booked at SXSW, Bled Fest, and a nationwide tour in support of The Early November, there are plenty of chances to catch these guys play. But why would you want to wait any longer than you have to?
Where to catch Lydia: 3.20 – South By So What?! @ QuikTrip Park.

While their first full-length is still eagerly awaited, what we’ve gotten thus far from COIN (a three-track EP that will dance you out of your shoes) leaves me very optimistic for its June release. I’m sure their set will be more than three songs, so I’m jealous of anyone who will get to hear what else this band has to offer.
Where to catch COIN: 3.18 – 8pm – Hype Machine @ Hype Hotel; 3.18 – 1am – Paradigm @ Maggie Mae’s Rooftop; 3.19 – 3:45pm – Most Definitely @ La Barbecue; 3.19 – 11pm – SONY @ Tap Room At The Market; 3.21 – 4:30pm – IFC @ Palm Park.

Night Riots
In support of their latest EP, Howl, a half-dozen songs packed with bright, moody electronic pop, this LA five-piece are preceding their summer on Warped Tour with a run at SXSW. If you miss your chance to catch them now, you’ll have another shot when Warped stops in your city, though their crowd is bound to be much bigger by the time that rolls through.
Where to catch Night Riots: 3.19 – 4:20pm – Big Picture Media Showcase @ The Bling Pig; 3.19 – 10pm – Official SXSW Showcase @ Buffalo Billiards; 3.20 – South By So What?! @ QuikTrip Park.

Dylan Gardner
This time last year, Dylan Gardner’s record landed in my inbox. And it didn’t take long for me to hear that there was something special about this 17-year-old kid’s self-written, self-recorded, self-produced debut album. And after jumping at the chance to sign such a great young talent, it seems it didn’t take Warner Bros. Records very long to realize it, either.
Where to catch Dylan Gardner: 3.20 – 8pm – Official SXSW Showcase @ Victorian Room at The Driskill; 3.22 – 7pm – House of Blues Cambridge Room.

One of the newer bands we’ve been introduced to, Denver’s Redlands blend together elements of country, pop, and old-fashioned rock & roll into a tightly-structured sound that could appeal to most music fans. Before their newest album hits shelves early this summer, this is a band you’ll want to get acquainted with.
Where to catch Redlands: 3.18 – 7pm – The Prophet Bar; 3.20 – South By So What?! @ QuikTrip Park.

The Maine
Since the announcement of American Candy (expected March 31st), The Maine have had their fanbase in a stir since word of their fifth album hit the internet. As a band that has progressed and matured with each album or tour, I’m always interested in whatever The Maine have lined up next.
Where to catch The Maine: 3.18 – 9:30pm – Official SXSW Showcase @ Emo’s; 3.20 – South By So What?! @ QuikTrip Park.

Whether it’s lead vocalist Mandy Lee’s soaring voice, the band’s catchy dance-pop sound, or any combination of these along with countless other factors, there’s a lot to be said for MisterWives. But whatever I could say about them wouldn’t do justice to what they’ll show you themselves.
Where to catch MisterWives: 3.19 – 6pm – The Spotify House; 3.21 – 7pm – House of Blues Dallas; 3.22 – 7pm – Fitzgerald’s.

To help celebrate 10 years of Chroma, one of the most solid pop/punk records of the era, Cartel are embarking on an anniversary tour later this Spring. But before they hit the road, they have their sights set on Austin, ready to make all of those high school emotions flood back.
Where to catch Cartel: 3.20 – South By So What?! @ QuikTrip Park.

MC Lars
The self-proclaimed master of lit-hop puts on a show that few can rival. Energetic, entertaining, and potentially educational, Lars shouldn’t be missed (if you’re hyphy enough to handle it).
Where to catch MC Lars: 3.17 – 10:25pm – Official SXSW Showcase @ Flamingo Cantina; 3.19 – The Bedlands.

Tracks In The Snow | Volume 1 | AVAILABLE FOR FREE DOWNLOAD

imageYou can download our brand new compilation featuring NGHBRS, Stages & Stereos, Parks, and seven other awesome artists by checking out the links below!


Digital Booklet link