Maryland Mansions (2003) If indie rap is the new punk, it makes perfect sense that MCs like Slug, Sage Francis, and Cex are teaming up with smaller rock… 2003-11-18 Cex
Review

Maryland Mansions (2003)

EW's GRADE
B

Details Release Date: Nov 18, 2003; Lead Performance: Cex

If indie rap is the new punk, it makes perfect sense that MCs like Slug, Sage Francis, and Cex are teaming up with smaller rock labels. The latter is a genially intense freak known for performing in tightie-whities and leading conga lines through the audience, and his latest LP fits the Jade Tree avant-emo aesthetic to a baby tee. It's an exercise in romantic self-loathing -- complete with anorexia and existential dread -- that shuffles between distorted beats, art-metal grind, and somber acoustic guitar, like a hip-hop fan trying to make a Nine Inch Nails record in his parents' basement. SELLING OUT ''The Strong Suit'' is the best rap song ever about being a traveling salesman; Arthur Miller would be proud.

Originally posted Nov 21, 2003 Published in issue #738 Nov 21, 2003 Order article reprints