The first time I discovered XXXTENTACION’s screams over distorted 808s as an adolescent, I thought that I had discovered the hardest rap music on the face of the planet. What could possibly top this raw, undiminished energy? Fast forward a few years and now copycat versions of classics like “RIP Roach” and “Take A Step Back” are everywhere, often not matching up to or only barely surpassing X’s energy on the original tracks.

Fl.vco, Lil Darkie, and eddison make up Gunk Rock, a group of artists who have certainly taken inspiration from this recent wave of screamo-rap, but they have their own take on the genre, managing to bump up the intensity by a significant notch. On “Brueghelian Pandemonium,” Gunk Rock matches the fast-paced Lil Cubensis-produced beat with even faster flows, not only giving a loud and aggressive vocal performance (which anyone with the capacity to yell and/or scream can do) but also displaying technical prowess in the intricate rhythms that they come up with in this song.

The production is all over the place and continuously fires interesting sounds back to back to back through the speakers, transitioning from one section to another and morphing unexpectedly like a shapeshifter that just chugged 5 cans of Red Bull. Gunk Rock spazzes along with the production and changes voices from throat-straining screaming to regular rapping, taking advantage of already high vocal ranges and pushing them even higher than normal to bring variety. Not just anyone could do this beat justice. Gunk Rock does that and more. They shine on the song and you aren’t sure if the beat or the vocalists deserve the spotlight here, which is an impressive feat considering how unconventional the production is. Take a listen below.


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Loro

Big music nerd and small-time fashion nerd. Writer for both Underground Vampire Club and Fresh Fruit Only.

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