MC Lars

Radio Pet Fencing

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The first album by MC Lars Horris (who later shortened his professional name to MC Lars) was recorded after the California native had moved to Oxford, England, to continue his studies. Something of a cross between the suburban white boy postures of MC Chris (the relentlessly sarcastic rapper/animator familiar to fans of Sealab 2021 and Aqua Teen Hunger Force) and the self-contained D.I.Y. electro-punk of Atom & His Package (who is justly saluted in this album's "Atom You're Awesome"), MC Lars Horris makes what he calls "post-punk laptop rap." The beats are unapologetically canned, with the backing tracks on most songs sounding like he came up with them after playing with Apple's Garageband software for 20 minutes or so, but no matter, since the focus is always on Horris' raps, whether hilariously, dorkily self-aggrandizing like "My Rhymes Rhyme," or covering offbeat real-world topics like a whale that became a local news celebrity in northern California after it mistakenly swam up the Sacramento River. As is the case with Atom & His Package, the funny songs work as more than Weird Al Yankovic-style parody because of Horris' genuinely impressive way with words and appealingly regular-guy delivery. If this record were just a bunch of silly jokes, it would have no staying power, but it's -- at the very least -- a bunch of really clever and witty silly jokes.

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