[a]Cypress Hill[/a] lurk in the shadows between eccentricity and psychosis, at their best when they blur the distinction...

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Call To Arms

Product:

Call To Arms

When [a]Cypress Hill[/a] appeared on The Simpsons they were accompanied by the London Symphony Orchestra. Tonight, the bass is heavy, the drums are raucous and there’s no time for such fey self-indulgence. This is a hard, fast run through a set of monochrome anthems performed at a consistently hysterical pitch, an exercise reaching a level of sonic saturation early on and maintaining it all night.

It’s not, however, as thrilling as it sounds because there’s hardly a change in tone, just a constant dirty barrage of bass, beats and B-Real‘s muffled raps. The notoriously blunted Cypress Hill, it seems, have already chosen their herb and additional spice – like, say, variety – just isn’t required.

So it sounds as if we’re in a cement mixer straining to hear a [a]Cypress Hill[/a] record. DJ Muggs is hunched behind the decks, while B-Real and Sen Dog, the Ren & Stimpy of rap, terrorise downstage. It wouldn’t be much of a spectacle, except there’s a 50ft model of a skeleton dressed in robes reclining on a throne at the centre of it all, a set design which seems an incongruous Spinal Tap-like extravagance rather than a demonic presence.

But then, [a]Cypress Hill[/a] lurk in the shadows between eccentricity and psychosis, at their best when they blur the distinction. The contrast is most obvious when ‘How I Could Just Kill A Man’ and ‘Insane In The Brain’ come back to back, and both sides of their mindset finally find expression. It’s the one moment where they make more than obvious visceral impact, as the burlesque and the menace are effectively melded.

It may all be about getting high but you need the lows or you’ll go out of your mind.