P.O.S.: Never Better: CD

I have always had a soft spot for the Twin Cities music scene. To me, one of the most endearing defining features of the last decade of Minnesota’s DIY music community is the unprecedented synergy between the punk rock and hip hop musicians and fans in that metro area. Unlike many other cities, no one bats an eye when Dillinger Four and Atmosphere play shows together. No single figure in the Twin Cites scene is a finer bridge between the two musical subcultures than P.O.S. Never Better is P.O.S.’s third album and it is a strong, if fairly similar, follow-up to 2006’s Audition album, which raised his musical profile and introduced P.O.S. to multitudes of new fans. There are a couple radio-friendly, head-bobbing funk tracks like “Low Light Low Life” and “Goodbye” that are quite successful. However, the majority of the album is more challenging and discordant, borrowing an air of tension clearly influenced by hardcore punk and an experimental edge typical of the envelope-pushing hip hop artists on Anticon Records. For the most part it works quite well, although some editing or refinement could have been applied to the last one third of the fifteen-song release, as it begins to sag towards the end. Overall, though, it’s a very exciting release by a young and upcoming musical artist doing the Midwest proud. –Jake Shut

 –guest (Rhymesayers)