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To all but the hardcore juggalos (and really, is there isn't any other kind?), the thought of a group of Insane Clown Posse protégés isn't exactly inspiring, but Twiztid may take you by surprise. Trading in the same comic book/horror schtick that has made ICP the most inexplicable cult phenomenon of the '90s, Twiztid is, if anything, even more ridiculously exaggerated than their mentors. That, of course, is their selling point, and the weird thing is, their debut album Mostasteless actually works better than most ICP records. Like The Amazing Jeckel Brothers, Mostasteless is focused and benefits greatly from the musicality of producer Mike E. Clark, who not only plays the great majority of the instruments, but also mixes, programs, and engineers the album, along with writing the music for over half the record. Clark is clever and he helps Twiztid segue convincingly between '70s soul jams, thrash metal and street jams. But that may give too much credit to Clark, since the duo wrote and played the two most convincing cuts on the record, "2nd Hand Smoke" and "Diemuthafuckadie!" (which contains an effective, surprising sample from Gentle Giant's "Spooky Boogie"). Also, Twiztid are better rappers than their mentors, and less cartoonish (except when paired with them on the freestyle-styled "$85 Bucks an Hour"). Of course, this is all a relative judgment -- compared to almost any other rapper, including Detroit peers Eminem, Twiztid is a cartoon -- but throughout Mostasteless Twiztid often is more convincing than their Dark Carnival colleagues. It has to be said, that if you don't buy into the whole comic book/horror schtick, Mostasteless (which isn't nearly as offensive as it would like, simply because after years of horror core posturing, it's hard to find endless streams of profanity offensive) will be irritating, but if you've bought into it, you'll enjoy this record as much, if not more, than most ICP albums.

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