Rondo Brothers Seven Minutes to Midnight

[Citrus to Citrus; 2007]

Rating: 2/5

Styles: electronic, hip-hop
Others: Handsome Boy Modeling School, Fatboy Slim, MC Lars

San Francisco-based production duo Rondo Brothers have a long and eclectic resume with credits as session musicians, touring band, songwriters, and remixers for everything from Deltron 3030 to CSI Miami. Though I’m sure David Caruso thinks they’re great to work with, Seven Minutes to Midnight indicates that they don’t quite have the legs to step beyond Dan “The Automator” Nakamura’s shadow just yet. At their best, the Rondo Brothers emulate the cheeky eccentricities of Automator’s criminally overlooked Music to Make Love to Your Old Lady By on tracks like the sensuous “Houston” or the Euro-poppy “Still Your Ghost.” Mostly, though, the album ambles through thickets of trite samples masquerading as indie hip-hop quirkiness (“El Corazon”), emo-rap (“La La La [Get Out Now]”), and Rjd2-inspired pop-tronica (“Until We All Fall Down”). Simply put: it’s ground that Automator has been covering for the past decade with savvier sampling, more dexterous emcees, and a richer understanding of hip-hop’s collective libido.

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