¡Mayday! has changed quite a bit since the then-duo released its self-titled debut album in 2006. Three years later, the Miami-based hip-hop band has been flooding fans digitally with singles and EPs, of which the latest is the appropriately titled Technology, available on iTunes Tuesday.
Much like the group’s last EP, February’s Valentine’s Day-themed The Thinnest Line, Technology often touches upon the complexity of relationships, but takes it a notch further with an overarching theme of loneliness set to a dystopian and mechanical musical bedrock.
No song better embodies those themes than the title track. Over layers of spacey synths provided by the band’s producer and keyboardist, Plex Luthor, rapper (and surprisingly, singer) Wrekonize croons “Even with all of this technology, my friends they find it hard to talk to me,” while ¡Mayday!’s original MC, Bernbiz, raps about losing himself in an overly digitized world. The eerie song is reminiscent of Outkast’s Stankonia phase.
The themes continue on “Red Carpet Affair,” which, with it’s pounding electric piano chords, is the spiritual successor (no pun intended) of the band’s 2006 song “Chasing Ghosts.” “We walk this lonely road, but some would call it a red carpet affair,” the song says, before furious cuts and scratches take over, courtesy of Gianni Cash, the group’s percussionist and sometime DJ (and now second keyboardist in concert after the departure of bassist Primo).
Musically, some of the most compelling moments on Technology recreate what makes ¡Mayday! a great live band: The final minute-and-a-half of “Crossroads & Avenues” features a furiously paced scatting session, while “Junkyard Dog” has a fiery percussion breakdown.
Technology leaves something to be desired — namely, more songs. With only six songs, the EP is just further demonstrating the band’s need to release another full length album.
Read my review of ¡Mayday!’s album release performance at the Miami Herald’s music blog.