MC Lars is More Punk Than You


MC Lars

MC Lars’s most recent release, This Gigantic Robot Kills is a thoroughly enjoyable LP. Nerdcore rap laid on top of all different styles of music, the album is primarily just chock full of fun. This is with the exception of the only very serious track, “Twenty Three”, a sad tune about the suicide of one of Lars’s friends. Every track here is solid and there are tons of guest, from Nerdcore staples like Frontalot to rock musicians like Gabe Saporta of Cobra Starship to nerd pioneer Weird Al. There is even a cover of Atom & His Package’s “Using the Metric System”.

The title of the album is an homage to Wesley Willis, which in and of itself makes the album undeniably awesome, but what’s even cooler is how little Lars cares about conforming to any mold. He’s hip-hop, punk rock, ska-core, dance pop, rock’n’roll, and electronica all at once. He just is what he wants to be, which is refreshing in a world where everyone wants to be someone else. From sampling Fugazi to writing songs about Shakespeare, nothing is off limits.

wesley willis

It’s hard to review the album in any one way. A track by track breakdown would be a bit excessive, while the overall sound can’t be described without doing so. The method I chose was to pick out my three favorite tracks and talk about them, specifically.

“True Player for Real” is the second track on the album and the first full track, as the opener is only about a minute long. With Weird Al on accordion and Wheatus as the backing band, the track has a fun, full sound. With a quote from Wesley Willis starting the track off, Lars heads right into his “post-punk” rhymes and his matter of fact chorus where he calls himself a “TPFR” then explains that it means “True Player for Real”. He drops names of hip-hop pioneers right along side references to wikipedia and Ralph Waldo Emerson. You even know when the key is going to change in the track because he calls out “Key Change” before it does.

“Twenty Three” is the only song that isn’t totally tongue-in-cheek. In fact, it hits a nerve, especially when juxtaposed with tracks that are nothing but fun and happy. Lars laments the loss of a friend to depression and suicide, with a chorus that notes the subject of the song will always be 23, rather than growing old with Lars and friends. I thank God I haven’t lost any close friends to suicide, but I can’t help but feel the sadness of this well crafted cautionary tale of his friend Patrick and his inability to cope with life’s pain and struggles.

“(Lord It’s Hard to be Happy When You’re Not) Using the Metric System” is a cover of one of my favorite tracks by my favorite short, chubby Jew from Philly. Atom & His Package was an integral piece in the high school experience of myself and many of my friends, as we spent much time enjoying his concerts at local firehalls in North Jersey. Lars performs the track in true Atom fashion, while still making it his own.

There are numerous other great tracks, in fact I like just about every one, but these are a few of the best. I promise that most people reading this will find something they lick here, unless they are against listening to music that induces smiles… and if that’s the case they should go back to listening to sad bastard music and stop wasting their time on this website, as they are unlikely to find anything here that they enjoy.


~ by thepaintedman on July 21, 2009.

13 Responses to “MC Lars is More Punk Than You”

  1. I love nerdcore. Thanks for the review. I’ll have to check him out.

  2. What Nerdcore MCs are you into? Lars is my personal fave right now, but Beefy, Frontalot, and Ytcracker are all up there right now, too.

  3. MC Frontalot is the one Matt played for me. I love the “I love your blog” song. Hilarious.

  4. Some free downloads:


    MC Lars (“Do the Bruce Campbell” is AWESOME and free)

    MC Frontalot

    Most of the Nerdcore guys have some free stuff on their sites. Check it.

  5. Alicia – it’s “I Hate Your Blog!”

  6. Jesse, you should send me something to review. We welcome all types of artists here, even Canadians, eh?

  7. I’ll bear that in mind when I release my next project! My latest is presently about two years old. I’m gonna send you a press release with tour info and a free MP3 from my posse, though! Right now…

  8. Final paragraph, second sentence, you spelled like, lick. I highly suggest you fix that.

  9. “I promise that most people reading this will find something they lick here”

    How do you know that I didn’t mean what I said?

  10. […] MC Lars already taught us all that Hot Topic is not punk rock, but I now want to tell you that Shael Riley is not Hip Hop. Then why include him on Hip Hop Week, you ask… simple, it’s because I said I was going to and I’m stubborn. Despite his pleas to be classified under beer because he believes he is “malty” like a “fresh Spaten Optimator” (which is a fantastic beer, by the way), I am sticking to my guns. […]

  11. […] could easily be part of that scene. As I type up the questions to this interview, I am listening to MC Lars, I guess that’s where these questions came from… but anyway, what other Hip Hop […]

  12. […] “Other People’s Property” from The Digital Gangster LP, then I hear her on other Lars tracks, and I got my first full taste just a few weeks ago when I picked up the Single and Famous […]

  13. […] the forefront of the Nerdcore scene are Frontalot, mc chris, MC Lars, and YTCracker. Front is the godfather of the scene, coining the term and embracing all that is […]

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