Drop The Lime: We Never Sleep

Less overwrought and apocalyptic in tone than This Means Forever, We Never Sleep is—dare we say?—more musical and more sophisticated too, judging by meticulously-constructed bangers like “Devils Kicks” and “Hotsauce Grillz.” They're but two examples of the gritty funk Drop The Lime (L. Venezia) drops throughout this raucous celebration of New York City 's night crawlers. With Venezia a veteran of New York City 's underground rave scene, it's only natural that elements of grime, jungle, drum & bass, techno, and break-core should come together in Drop The Lime's sound.

“Wake Up Call” is literally that, a mechanized dubstep slap to the face that gets the disc pumping right away, especially when schizoid melodies collide with Minty's breathy vocals. Other songs are in a similar vein—the grinding and sputtering raver “Triceratops,” for example—but a handful also deviate from the style: Venezia drops a gothic howl over bluesy, work-song chants in “Full Moon Rising,” slows the pace with cryptic torch in “Turn Out The Light,” and references jazz and disco in the closer “Skyline Fantasy.” Without losing the dance connection, “Coal Ovens” gravitates towards conventional song form with Venezia reigning in the vocal excess and embedding it within a piano-based arrangement. To his credit, We Never Sleep's material is intricate and unpredictable, with its pieces bona fide compositions rather than second-rate groove workouts that do little more than repeat ad nauseum.

August 2006