Before he was signed to Rhymesayers, P.O.S. recorded and released a full-length with his own label (and collective) Doomtree. It was, in fact, upon hearing that album that Rhymesayers offered him a deal, and it's easy to see why they were interested. Ipecac Neat is an energetic, angry, intense record with dark, engaging Aesop Rock-like beats that incorporate guitar and strings loops, purposeful drums, and ominous scratches. The melodies and harmonies switch from song to song, but there's a consistency in the production, so much so that it, along with the heaviness and anger, begins to sound a bit repetitive and even weighs down the album. Clearly, to some extent this is P.O.S.' intent: he presents himself as a brooding, thoughtful, and emotionally vulnerable MC who's not afraid to say that he's frightened or upset, and his rhymes all deal with pain and misfortune. His images are as violent as anything from Wu-Tang, but are more intimate, telling stories of individuals (like in "Little Kids" or "Duct Tape") or himself ("Gimme Gimme Gunshots," for example), the details as much about the mental agony as the physical. And though -- unlike on Audition -- P.O.S. hardly uses the punky guitars and sung/screamed vocals, he still approaches songwriting from a more rock-based standpoint, careful to include separate verses and actual choruses (as opposed to just short hooks), so that even though his delivery style is fairly quick and complex, what he's saying is easy to understand, because of sheer repetition if nothing else. It's an effective technique, catchy and melodic yet still unique and provocative. Ipecac Neat may be P.O.S.' first album, but it doesn't come across as puerile or immature; rather, it's just full of the virulence and intensity of an angry young man who's looking at his world and doesn't quite understand what he sees, but decides to -- and needs to -- talk about it anyway.
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AllMusic Review by Marisa Brown
feat: Crescent Moon
feat: Toki Wright
feat: Crescent Moon