Rob Bailey and The Hustle Standard

1044467_10200616890246195_279574204_n_grandeIt’s about 1:30 am and I’m burning through articles. You know, practicing typical super writer behavior. It’s a red-eye flight to 3 am. I need Red Bull, Monster, something to take the edge off.

Problem is, I want nothing to do with an enlarged heart and an erection that lasts 62 hours. In comes Rob Bailey & The Hustle Standard, today’s answer to freebasing. ‘Beast’, Bailey and THS’s second studio album, takes listeners down a road of no return. Once you’re in, it’s all over.

The jet-fueled lyrics scream about passion, and the struggle to reach the proverbial top. Stylistically, it’s high-energy concoction of rock, house, rap, and there’s even some acoustic guitar to boot. For as intense as it is, Beast goes down pretty easy. It’s fight music, it’s one more rep music, it’s motivation.

With that said, I could have done without the auto-tune rhetoric on the track “I Am Not Done”, with guest artist, Moxiie. Auto-tune makes everyone sound like Lil Wayne. And until Lil Wayne redeems himself for his latest musical sin, I Am Not a Human Being II, I want to hear nothing reminding me of him.

In ‘Ambulances’, one of my favorite tracks, features rapper, Drew Boogie, who kills it. The delivery in the whole song is spot on. The hook “Take the bodies out, call the ambulances,” is testament to Bailey’s extremely aggressive lyrical content. And why shouldn’t it be? Bailey is a bodybuilder, gym owner, clothing line founder, high-performance car guy, and is married to a real life superwoman, Dana Linn Bailey, one of today’s most prolific fitness competitors.

Bailey’s life is intense, and so is his music. In this case, his life replicates his art. Bailey’s voice has remnants of Linkin Park, Rage Against the Machine, and John Cena (FYI, John Cena is a badass rapper). Bailey owns a legit style that’s not obnoxious. A very important trait with someone who can do the screamo thing. His ability to switch between styles is paramount to digestibility of the album. It’s articulate enough to understand and connect with the lyrics, but loud enough to amp you the hell up, and maybe break something.

Beast offers up six tracks and two remixes. My two must listen tracks: Ambulances, and Jealous. I already talked about Ambulances, so I’ll dig a little deeper into Jealous.

Jealous is by far the most introspective song on the album. Speaking of the somber moments of being successful, preaching about hard work, but also calling out serial haters and copycats.

The haunting chorus reads, “I work harder than anybody knows, and I’ve lost touch with everybody close to me, but I won’t stop, I can’t stop.”

Bailey belts, “No Seeds. No Water No Dirt. From concrete I made it work.”  “I am the brimstone, I am the fire.”

My recommendation, if you need a pure shot of adrenaline, Beast will give you everything you can handle, and then some. It was hard for me not to fist pump a little. Don’t judge me.

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