Dual Core, as many folks have heard me speak about, are a band that is constantly amazing me with their skill, hard work ethic, and enthusiasm. Their debut album Zero One was released just about a year ago, garnering them a ton of fans and attention (even from Gabe up at Penny Arcade). Their second album dropped just a few months ago, also to much acclaim, Super Powers was a great concept album, which I was lucky enough to review a few months back. Now, in this incredibly short span of time, Dual Core is already out with their third album, Lost Reality. You can purchase the album from Dual Core's website for $10, or grab it with an older album for $15. This album steps it up even more for the ever working Int Eighty and C64. This is an amazing album, for Dual Core, and nerdcore as well. Dual Core shows a ton of diversity in style, and subject matter throughout this compilation.
The first track on the album is for the "Emcees and real rap fans." It's titled For Real and speaks on the growing experience and love Int Eighty had and continues to have for hip hop. c64 has a great beat on this song as well, which uses some very catchy piano riffs to give this track a great feeling all it's own, and makes for an excellent end to the track. It's a great way to start out a rap album, and a nerdcore album. Then we come to Beginning of the End, which outlines another large part of Int Eighty's life, that of a computer hacker. He talks about his hacking experiences from his ISP suspending his account all the way to making it a legitimate career, drawing a portrait you can almost see through his words. And all this is told through Int Eighty speaking to his mother, which gives the song a quite personal perspective. This song has some awesome effects with beats and voices playing backwards on the track, giving it a sort of disjointed feeling throughout, which works very well for the subject matter involved.
Unplug is the third track, and is dedicated to another set of folks, the programmers, developers, and other hardworking coders working hard all day and many nights. This song really draws a vivid image of the hours and hours of work that these folks go through, and how it can become the only thing in one's life. This song also reaches to anyone who has ever had that job that keeps you from doing anything else, cutting you off from your friends and family and life itself especially with the chorus of, "Sign the first line, It was just nine to five, quickly realized it became nine to nine. 24/7, 365, a process that separated me from my life." This song has a slow, sort of lo-fi beat going through it, which works great with the message of isolation. This is a fairly sad song with it's slow pace and realistic subject. This song gives way to the first seriously rocking track though, Hold On. This is the kind of track that gets you fired up for a round of whatever it is you get really competitive about. With the hard beats and quick lyrics, this track is definitely anthem status.
My GF is... is the ballad of this album, if there could be one. It's a catchy track about some folks dream girl, a gal that is also a hacker. The beat on this track also brings up images of classic R&B love songs. A great track over all and would make an epic single, if nerdcore artists even release singles. The next song, just may be the definition of "epic nerdcore track" The track is Fantastic Four (ft. Beefy, ytcracker, and Wheelie Cyberman). That's right, did you see the list of folks on this track!? some of the biggest heavyweights of nerdcore hip hop are all on this track, and really bring their skill and style to the song. Even C64's beat shows off the epicness of what's happening on this track. This one you'll just have to listen to yourself.
The seventh track on the album is Random Bits, the shortest track on the album, and, as it's name suggests, goes over a few random things in a quick catchy beat. This track also seems to kick off the second half of the album, wich covers ever more topics. The title track Lost Reality (ft. Ill Poetic), speaks on some heavy subjects like video game censorship, net neutrality, and other important political topics with the help of Ill Poetic. This is a great track, with some amazing samples and scratching as well. This is a great track, that shows that nerdcore can tackle serious subjects as well, in fact even better than other forms of music.
This takes us to an amazing themed track, Judgement Day. Just guess what movie this song is about. Being a huge fan of this series of films, I am in love with this song. Int Eighty brings a lot of skill in his rhymes, and you can tell he knows more than a thing or two about Terminator. C64's tracks also fit very well in the world the movies create.
Track ten brings us Rock It and rock it they do in this song. This is another great anthem like song, along the lines of Hold On. This is Dual Core's "We're Dual Core and we kick ass!" song, and it's a song they have every right to do! C64's beats are loud and in your face, along with Int Eighty's smooth lyrics. Along these lines, you may know that Dual Core rocks most hard, but do you know why? the song, aptly named Dual Core, answers this very question. This song is one hell of an awesome autobiography for the band. From Int Eighty's beginnings at Notacon 3, to hooking up with C64, through their album releases up to this album release. If anyone asks you who Dual Core is, you can just show them this track, and they will get a history lesson and know how amazing Dual Core is all in one attack. This may also be one of my favorite tracks on the album! (Thanks in part to a semi-thanks in the track for reviewing Super Powers.)
The intro for Take It Forward sets up an interesting mood for this song that seems to bring memories of classic black and white films. Int Eighty raps about the stereotypes of hackers, gamers, and rappers. A great track speaking about the often wrong ideas that politicians and activists can have of these different social groups. The next track is for the console gamers, a group I am heavily entrenched in, which makes this my favorite song on the album. The track, Take It Back (ft. Stephanie KB), opens with some more samples from C64, which abruptly breaks into a high tempo beat and Int Eighty busting some quick rhymes. The chorus, sung by the ever amazing Stephanie KB also makes this a stand out track on the album. Stephanie's vocals against Int Eighty's rhymes makes for a great juxtaposition of styles. Int Eighty's lines have a great way of reminding you why you and your friends get together to rock the latest fighting game, as well as the times when you spent days and nights trying to finish that RPG you've been working on. Even the very often overlooked joy of just hanging with friends and talking about classic video game memories.
This brings us to our final track. Player vs Player is the closest we'll get to a diss song from Dual Core, and it's a great one. With the live sounds, the drum heavy beat, and the awesome, tech referencing disses Int Eighty is throwing out, it makes for a great track, and a way to show off the skills that nerdcore rappers bring to the table. I'm also a fan of the Mortal Kombat samples mixed into this track. An excellent end to another amazing album from Dual Core, but would you expect anything less from this band at this point?
But alas! We also get a bonus song! We also get the epic Fantastic Four (Remix ft. Beefy, ytcracker, and Wheelie Cyberman)! A remix of the earlier mentioned song. and it is one awesome remix no less. showing off more of C64's intense and varied beatsmithing skills.
I speak a lot on how impressed I am by Dual Core's professionalism and skill. With this album, my thoughts not only hold true, but are even multiplied. Dual Core can handle subjects of varying degrees of weight and seriousness amazingly well, which is shown through this album, covering such diverse things as Terminator and video games, to politics and stereotypes. Int Eighty has also stepped up his skills as a lyricist, being able to craft words that make you feel like you can see what he's talking about on some tracks. He also has a way of invoking memories you've had, both good and bad, on the subjects he tackles. Now C64's beats have really stepped it up as well. He has always been amazing at crafting amazing tracks, but his use of samples and effects are beautiful on this album, not to mention how varied the tracks are, and how they all have their own definite unique qualities to them. All the beats he has created could easily make amazing songs on their own. It's easy to say that Dual Core stand tall over most all other rap groups, mainstream, nerdcore, or otherwise. Once again, go buy their album over at Dual Core's website. in fact grab all their albums!