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When rappers/vocalists Johnny Richter and D-Loc of Orange County, CA band Kottonmouth Kings said their Kingspade offshoot would be a straight rap group, stripping their rap-rock bases of metal and punk, they definitely weren't kidding. Their 2004 self-titled debut was the quintessential stoner-rap album of hedonistic party grooves and marijuana boasts referencing every single slang term they could remember. Although the Orange County duo show some growth on PTB (i.e. "P-Town Ballers," which refers to their home city of Placentia, CA), they don't stray too far from that same formula. In overall sound, PTB owes much more to crunk king Lil' Jon or Bay Area producer Rick Rock than Rage Against the Machine or Bad Religion. In fact, songs like "We Ridin'," which contains booming drums with abrasive synths and basslines, all Lil' Jon signatures, might just be sheer imitation. Notwithstanding, Kottonmouth Kings producer/songwriter Mike Kumagai's beats are effective on PTB and could go head to head with most contemporary rap songs on the pop charts, but Richter's and D-Loc's hooks are too plain and don't make any long-lasting impressions. The LP's second half, however, is where Kingspade have their more vulnerable and introspective moments. They join the anti-war, anti-Bush chorus on "Follow the Leader," and "Inked Up" offers an unusually in-depth, and interesting, take on why they wear tattoos. Kumagai's productions here are more original, too, but ultimately, this record is mainly intended for pot-smoking party-goers and car trunk subwoofers. And more than likely, you won't be putting down that bong or blunt to replay any verses.

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