Remind me in 3 days . . .
ESSENTIAL "Bang! Bang!"
Familiar-sounding hip-hop bands are breaking out all over the South - that's why they created the Knux. These New Orleans brothers (transplanted to LA) play a vibrant hybrid of hip-hop, rock, and high-spirited funk. They owe plenty to OutKast, and some to Bad Brains and even Fishbone, without the mania. Krispy Kream (no sugar here) and Rah Almillio are smart enough not to let any of the genres dominate, and the disc is a fun amalgam that actually coalesces. It's a party record, although not in the cliched stripper-pole-worship sense. Sex predominates on tracks like "Parking Lot," "Hush," and "Playboys" but there's no misogyny. Both brothers play instruments: Almillio is a deft guitarist, and the arrangements are tight and hooks solid ("Bang! Bang!"). The brothers lack the inspired wit of their predecessors (especially OutKast) and could use tauter rhymes, but most of the album packs a punch. (Out now)