Judging by The M-Virus's back cover, which features Metabolics surrounded by beakers, brains, chemistry sets and dismembered hands, these Brooklyn born-and-bred quack lab jokers have been sucking too many laboratory fumes.
You know Metabolics are on some crazy ill vapors with song titles like "Panty Party Wit Pimp Daddy Shrimp" (RealAudio excerpt)
and an MC named Mr. Dead (though 1980s idiot-dilettante duo Happy Flowers win the name game hands down with their monikers, Mr. Anus and Mr. Horribly Charred Infant).
Judging by their minimalist production and press bio (which rants, "The M-Virus cannot even be compared to Puffy-influenced hip-pop or pseudo-underground (c)rap ..."), Metabolics are hip-hop fundamentalist blowhards. Fortunately, these blowhards at least know how to put the "fun" in fundamentalist on songs like "Do I Make You Horney?," which features screwy falsettos surfing atop a funky human beatbox.
Even though the production is minimalist, The M-Virus doesn't rely on the NYC underground sonic clichés that are typically built upon abstract-but-not-really-bouncin' beats. Songs like "Create and Define," "Last Rites," "PROs and CONs" and the Prince Paul-produced "Lyrical Chemical" feature solid beats and rubbery basslines that support their brain-damaged stories and goofball raps. They even pull an obvious sample out of their magic bag -- Smokey Robinson's Motown masterpiece "Tears of a Clown" -- though their version's warbled and halfway-sung chorus is less Puffy than Biz Markie, especially when the elephant noises kick in.
With a solid drum line, spare turntable scratches and a funky-ass bassline straight outta Cypress Hill's debut album, the first song, "Last Rites" (RealAudio excerpt), dares you not to nod your head to the catchy chorus that goes, "Won't stop, yeah why?/ yo, I just started/ allow me to continue/ yo, it's retarded/ mental, kinda lyrical/ rhyme-style, habitual/ listen to the lyrics you be rhymin' like a ritual."
The Spectre-produced "Issues" (RealAudio excerpt) pairs bizarre beats and random sound effects with demented lines like, "Going over Niagara Falls in a barrel/ vitamin-enriched dick with Viagra balls which are sterile/ I get on and change the beat like I change the diapers under your granny's panties ... thought I was shit/ you tried to smear me/ but I'm wiping feces on the facez of policez."
By listening to The M-Virus all the way through, one runs the risk of letting the Metabolics rewire your synapses with a rusty scalpel. If you find yourself getting retarded, making elephant noises and singing falsetto while going over Niagara Falls, you'll know who did it to ya.