Pop Culture

Street cred meets indie style ... mmm delicious

The Saturday Knights are part of a new wave of Seattle hip-hop. Along with Blue Scholars and Common Market, they’re bringing back the house party to the town that Sir Mix-a-Lot put on the map. But the Saturday Knights are also making something that’s all their own.

Think back, way back to when Run DMC claimed “Walk This Way” for its own.  It blew your mind, right?  And when Beck first took over “Two Turntables”?  Let your mind carry you back to a time before rap-rock became Limp Bizkit and (God help us all) Kid Rock.  Back to when hot guitar licks met beat poetics and both held their own. Think Cypress Hill without the heavy trip.

The Saturday Knights’ four-song self-titled EP has just been remastered and made widely available by the kind people at their spankin’ new label, Light in the Attic Records.  Their LP will be coming out in September, so you’ll have a whole summer to enjoy this EP.

“Motorin’” introduces Tilson and Barfly as MCs who effortlessly trade lines as full of silly cleverness as early Beastie Boys. The song mixes the storytelling of Pharcyde with a chorus as sweet as a Beach Boys song. Meanwhile, B-web unleashes pure buzzy guitar, staccato Mick Jones-style energy. There are a couple of seconds where you feel like it might spin out of control, but DJ Suspence is there to keep it all together while your head’s bobbing.

The second song, “45,” is all smarty-pants wordplay and time-bending beats. It’s like Gorillaz served raw — dirty and strong, but also more straightforward. It’s a great hip-hop song, sure, it’s just not quite as crazy as the other tracks.

That crazy stuff is what makes the Saturday Knights so fun to listen to. “Ass Kicker’s Haircut” is a visit to a power-chord-heavy biker bar for a conversation about overblown heroes.  And “The Gospel,” well, “hip-hop hoedown” is really the only way I can describe it.  It’s almost as wild a set of flavors as Evolution Control Committee’s mash-up of Public Enemy and Herb Alpert — and these guys are making it all up on their own.

If you get a chance to see them live, do. There are plenty more delightful surprises in their repertoire that haven’t been committed to vinyl, yet.  In the meantime, invite a crowd over and turn up the volume on this EP.  On most full-length CDs, you’re lucky to get a couple of solid songs. So far, these guys are four for four.

For more info on the Saturday Nights, visit: http://www.myspace.com/thesaturdayknights.

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