"Downtown the World" (Westbound Records; 2007)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

Critical Bill is rap core, but I hear more rap than core so Iíll redefine and call them corerap. They sound like 311 on a few songs and rock like Incubus on others. They really donít create anything new but their lack of fresh air is still sometimes better than other bands who just manufacture talentless originality. 

I do like the guitar here because it has that heavy sound and every now and then a solo emerges but it too often gets interrupted by the rap. Iíve read a few interviews with these guys and they canít explain why the hip-hop stations play their music with such heavy rotation. It's probably because their sound seems new to those stations but youíll recognize it immediately and know that this train has been at the station before ... and I donít predict any new riders.

Some songs are rap core and some are rockers, but most of them donít have any staying power. You might think they sound like Saliva at times if you listen long enough. The first track really kicks things off but itís more of an onside kick. If Critical Bill wants to attract more fans, touring with the hip-hop crowd might give them a larger base that rock radio wonít offer.

Critical Bill: Powerdise Ė vocals; Mike Scott Ė guitar; Phil Thacker Ė bass; Mark ďC-BassĒ Causley Ė drums; Tom Sawyer Ė turntables.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2007 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 09 Dec 2018 12:03:11 -0500.