By: Joseph VanBuren
There once was a young musician named Hudson Eakin, who lived in the Portland, Maine area and met an early demise, killed by the horrible music of local bands. Shortly thereafter, his corpse was stolen from his grave and brought to a laboratory, where a mysterious entity infused his soul into a robot. The robot was programmed to save the human race through the power of hip hop, starting with its debut album Sermons Vol. 1: Infinite Capacity.
This is the story of The Reverend Robot, a very intriguing artist with an obvious abundance of imagination and a strong disliking for the current trends in both music and society. Infinite Capacity is the result of these traits: ten hard-hitting and almost overwhelming tracks of alternative hip hop that somehow combine a rebellious, underground attitude with a positive vibe of unity. In format, it’s more like a mixtape, borrowing beats from other artists. In content, however, it is unlike any mixtape that has ever come before it. Even in the choices of the music utilized (from artists like The Gorillaz and Sleigh Bells), this is a unique experience. The Reverend Robot strays far from mainstream clichés, packing a lot of knowledge and insight into his lyrics. And in between thought-provoking rhymes and calls for action, he (excuse me, it) infuses fantastic horrorcore imagery and sound clips, painting the picture of the inhuman vessel carrying these messages.
Though, there are two issues with the tracks on Infinite Capacity that take a little away from the album‘s greatness. The lo-fi sound quality of the vocals doesn’t always blend well with the jacked beats, which are mostly of professional production. It also seems that a little more time spent on practicing the rhymes would have probably resulted in more solid songs, particularly to avoid the sometimes sloppy overdubs. Then again, have you ever tried telling a robot to perfect something? They just look at you crazy like “don’t try to program MY mind.”
A couple production quirks aside, The Reverend Robot was apparently created to create something awesome. The amount of creativity behind Infinite Capacity is astounding and makes for some very refreshing music that stretches its chosen genre to the limits. It is rare that music can be both entertaining and enlightening, but The Reverend Robot is obviously a rare kind of artist. “When I open my eyes, I lose the words to speak/ because I can’t even believe that they are coming out of me.” So rare, the Robot even surprises itself.