Cheap Meat Suits are lazy, listless — beaten down by life and all of its misgivings on their new record Dark City. Local hip-hoppers Ocean and Quiz collaborate to bring beauty and poignancy to the genre, interweaving staccato tongue-tumbling lyrics over ribbons of ambient melody. It’s an album of eurekas, punctuated each time with exclamation points. Quiz and Ocean seem to be slowly unraveling themselves, not just licking their wounds but carefully extruding the glass shards from their cuts and examining the shape and nature of each one.
Dark City is a soundtrack of malaise. Of struggle and self-destruction. And when they want to shake you, Cheap Meat Suits does it with gunshots, with horror-movie creaks and creepy vocal samplings. There is no element of this that hasn’t been carefully scrutinized: vocals, samplings, scratches. Cheap Meat Suits offers a magnificent record that quakes with ache, disappointment and mystery.