The temptation of anyone reviewing a work of art is to automatically specify a few particular artists or genres to compare, lump, or contrast that piece of art too. It’s natural. We all desire a reference point to start the comparison for the sole purpose of making a point as to why someone may or may not wanna devour whatever is being reviewed. But the new E.P., “A Snake With Shaky Hands” by Portland, Oregon’s Rafael Vigilantics has proven to be one of those rare exceptions to that natural method of prognosis. When listening to it, of course you can find the influences of such hip-hop underground artists like P.O.S., the late Eyedea, and Cage. You can listen to it and point out the fluid correlation between punk rock, rap, R & B, and club popping dance beats. But that is all a byproduct to the actual work of this E.P
. as a whole. What Vigilantics has done with these tracks is he’s transcended the lazy purpose of leaving those kinds of interpretations on such generic terms. Starting from the first track, “Blind Robin”, with an intro that leaves you staggering and engrossed, the E.P
. only picks up steam with introspective songs dealing with conflictions that almost anyone can relate to: Our fucked up relationships with substance abuse. Our fucked up relationship with what is right and what is wrong. Our fucked up ideas that there are absolute truths to a notion that there can ever be a reconciliation with the vices that draw us away from the world and the same vices that makes us feel more connected to it. Vigilantics’ songs have no middle ground or moral narrative. Instead, they reveal a truth about life that so many of us refuse to cope with and choose not to acknowledge. His lyrical ability to sift through the guilt, the emotional toll of being a perfectionist at imperfection, and make an argument for a point so often lost in the complex translation of how a good person can also be a fucked up person is not only honesty at its peak, but it’s honesty that reveals the internal struggle that persists within all of us. Combined with insanely catchy beats and harmonies, Vigilantics has defied the ability to let anyone corner his art. Some people may not get that. To those people, I say listen to the E.P
. and let it tell you how it is for those of us that Vigilantics is speaking for.
-Jason Myers, author of the best selling novel, Exit Here.