_SO (Standing Ovation) is a hip-hop duo that consists of producer Bronze Baby Shoes out of Virgina and vocalist/lyricist The Character. The two have been honing their skills for a while and last year released their five-track, EP Echo Park. It was raw but automatically showed their abilities to create a unique sound that if built upon could be something worthwhile. Now their back with their much-improved latest release Coliseum.
The sound of _SO’s Coliseum is what makes the first impression. Bronze Baby Shoes paints these canvases with electronic instrumentals that have an undercurrent dark edge to them. It very nearly has a cyberpunk to some of the tracks. The title cut “SO” and “Out” have that feel to them as if your listening to the sound of a futuristic underworld. There’s also influences coming from cloud rap mainly coming from a track like “Lines” which is the most chill track on the project and also the most pristine. Still, for the most part, their sound is a unique blend of styles. ‘
Furthering that stamp is the appropriately named The Character. Unafraid to fluctuate his vocal tones wildly or sing of the cuff he brings energy to each track. He’s got a freewheeling nature on the mic that’s fun, and you can sense he had fun writing these songs. “Ugly” finds him sarcastically touching on the idea that he knows there will be some that find the music or his flow unappealing or stupid. Elsewhere he’s charismatic bragging most charmingly on SO as he talks about exciting the crowd. The strongest record on the EP is “Speed” the beat is great and features some of The Character’s best rhymes.
Coliseum is likely to be an acquired taste, but their sound is an interesting one that I’d recommend to anyone into alternative/indie hip-hop. They have grown tremendously over from their previous effort, and I like that they’re willing to experiment and try new sounds. In doing so, a lot of good music came out of this EP; more is sure to come if they keep it up.