SummaryWhile past Mansbestfriend projects dwell in a glorious sort of doom, Poly.sci.187 plays ethereal and heavy like a series of ghost dreams drifting through thick Arizona air. The title reads as the foregone conclusion of Sole's notable ventures, both philosophical and literal, into a world of human strife and dirty politics: "Political Science: This Shit'll Kill You." But without true lyrical content, the instrumental Poly.sci.187 occupies a space more reflective than edifying, its songs positing suggestion and sentiment in the mind of the listener about our most current troubled times. It's political done subtle, and the songs of Mansbestfriend adopt a similar bent, often ending on question marks or drifting out of frame.
True, hip-hop's collagist tendencies are present here, but the songs are freeform-ambient, heavily textured soundscapes that ride a beat out just as easily as they derail it in favor of new ground. "Wilting Onward" is a heady mélange of jungle drums, surging guitars, sampled voice and crystalline static that plays with layers of competing rhythm before mindfully devolving into a three-room houseparty. Conversely, "Allieverwanted" kicks in with the head-nodding fury of a rap banger-think the Wu's East meets Wild West-all big synth styles, pulsing beat and crunchy organ tones with a Sole sample rattling around the song's tall halls and Ryan Fritch (from Sole's recently adopted Skyrider band) playing searing E-bow. From start to finish, Poly.sci.187 is filled with such sonic explorations. The album is an accomplished work that testifies not only to the fine art of experimentation, but to the aural abilities of Tim Holland, instrumentalist-may he be loud even in silence.