Portland Oregon’s emcee and producer Bryson The Alien has teamed up with Stockholm’s PNKSLM label to release The Great Adventures of…. Bryson and PNKSLM founder Luke Reilly connected during the pandemic and started bouncing ideas off each other which this led to early versions of ‘Super Fun Apocalypse’, ‘Return Of The Scarecrow’, ‘No Time For That’ that appeared on the Lucern Raze LP International Breakdown which also featured label artists such as Cherry Pickles, Sudakistan and ShitKid.
After the conversational ‘Intro (Jimmie’s Record Store & Café)’ we have ten stellar songs to keep the repeat button dust-free and Bryson The Alien’s laid-back delivery is a perfect counterpoint to the garage-psych vibe of PNKSLM. Sometimes the drums are loose with splashy cymbals such as ‘Revenge of the Scarecrow’, or ’S.F.A’ and at other times super-tight such as ‘I’m Out’. So many of the tracks are held together with a killer guitar riff and there’s even sitar thrown into the mix on ‘Seen The Light’ and there’s an abundance of super-catchy hooks such as the sing-song chorus in ‘Something ‘bout the Summertime’ or the “bap-ba-daps” in ‘S.F.A.’, a track which has rockslide drums and the funk tickle of guitar line colliding with pockets of 8-bit drum machine like popping candy.
‘No Time For That’ has a country and western twang, and ‘Can’t Stop Me Now’ features sci-fi bubbles and a wall of glam rock fuzz guitar in the chorus. You get ‘White Lines’ filtered through ‘Once In A Lifetime’ on the track ‘Mental Health’, a mellow cloud ride on the weed-smoker’s hymn, ‘On My Own’, and a smouldering night-time drive on the final track ‘Roads Dark’ featuring VERO’s Julia Boman.
The Great Adventures of… is smorgasbord of dopamine hits and, for me, recalled the neon colours of 80s hip hop acts I loved like A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul or P.M. Dawn. The idea of punching through a cloud of Bryson The Alien’s weed smoke with punchy guitar and drums alongside bringing PNKSLM acts into the mix has made this a genre crossing work of garage-rap genius.
Review by Paul F Cook