By The Throat
The duo of MC Eyedea and DJ Abilities have always possessed more potential than they've realized, and By The Throat doesn't change that balance. The blame belongs more to Eyedea than Abilities, who fashions a bevy of hot, throbbing tracks keyed to chunky percussive beats with the jazzy tinkle of cymbals balancing the murky bottom-end. The tenor of Eyedea's stories echoes the self-abnegating air of screamo, writhing with anxious frustration from the firearm-fueled paranoia of "Time Flies When" to the homicidal "Hay Fever" and the angry dissolution of the punkish "Junk." The take-it-in-stride resilience of "Smile" lets a little light in, and "Burn Fetish" hits its dark center with its chorus, "Empathy is the poor man's cocaine/And love is a chemical by any other name." But this shadowy hell is only hospitable to the bereft.