The Shapeshifters

The Shapeshifters Was Here (Cornerstone Recording Arts Society)

Ever found yourself knee-deep in malt liquor, a mile high on weed and strung out on the Cartoon Network? Then The Shapeshifters Was Here is your new battle cry. Bubbling over with Simpsons samples and pop-culture references, the Shifters' third full-length is a sprawling effort that sucks in and then exhales everything from rap to electro to dancehall ragga, even outdoing the eclecticism of the underground scene that spawned it. But even with such a broad range of sounds spread across its epic 80 minutes, the disc never loses focus or coasts on filler, a feat all the more remarkable in light of the band's massive, ever-morphing lineup. The collective has never been a rhyme-by-numbers hip-hop project, but the cerebral flow, astute social commentary and wacked-out creative vision of Was Here are enough to bring the group to the next level -- even if that level happens to be horizontal on the living-room floor.

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