Gangrene, made up of Oh No and The Alchemist, were quick to follow up their all too brief and very excellent “Greneberg” EP with Roc Marciano with another stoner rap odyssey in “Vodka & Ayahuasca”. Being under the influence was a big part of the theme to the duo’s first album “Gutter Water” and they have explored that even further on here. From the lyrics (“Sprinkle dope on the spliff/ While I prove levitation is not a myth”) to the sixties era rock and jam soundscape the producers surround them in.
Right from the start, you should know what kind of a rap album you’re getting into with a phased out drug-speech sampled intro that ends with an instructional lesson on exhale. All of these elements combined push you face first into the loud, screaming, whining and decaying guitar that is the second track entitled “Gladiator Music.” We get a great feature from Roc Marciano on “Drink Up” as he finds a pocket in the beat and stays there comfortably for the whole verse. Alchemist bringing his best as well, not only flowing impeccably over the beat, but also giving that aforementioned lyrical gem.
The title track “Vodka & Ayahuasca” along with “Dump Truck” are two more very bright highlights, the latter featuring a nice feature from Mobb Deep’s Prodigy. All the tracks are a bit tongue-in-cheek but the more serious songs on their previous album, while good, aren’t really missed here. The track “Top Instructors” with it’s punchy bass and it’s haunting loop, along with “Dark Shades” punctuate the albums bottom half before it fuzzes out. This is smoke and headphones rap, urban crawl and training tunes.“Vodka & Ayahuasca” is exactly the kind of rap album you expect it to be given those involved. It’s a well-produced, well-mixed and no bullshit rap album and of course it is, “You in the back of the dump truck”.
Gangrene’s “Vodka & Ayahuasca” is out now via Decon Records.