Release Date: Feb 15, 2011
Record label: Doomtree Records
Genre(s): Rap, Pop/Rock
From hand-to-hand CD-R sales in the Twin Cities to some of the most interesting album packaging in recent years (P.O.S.‘ Never Better), the Doomtree collective has ascended the ranks of independent Hip Hop without losing the DIY edge that delivered them. Sims’ sophomore album, Bad Time Zoo is the latest solo project in the tight-knit crew’s recent catalog that’s included gems from Dessa, Lazerbeak and Paper Tiger. Contrary to its title, Sims’ second offering has a swaying view of life’s bitter and its sweet, all with a delivery derived from years of live performances.
Minneapolis isn’t just for rockers. The city that birthed the Replacements has spit out some more bastards of young, this time of the hip-hop persuasion. Twin Cities MC Sims is in line with underground rappers like Atmosphere and Brother Ali, where politics and everyday life replaces clever descriptions of gunplay and re-ups. Loosely based on a short story by Ray Bradbury about a nursery transforming into a violent African veldt, Bad Time Zoo finds Sims confidently tying themes of claustrophobia and survival to tales of stray bullets (“The Veldt”) and revolution (“Burn it Down”).
Like P.O.S, who spits as cold as a Minnesota winter on the triumphant "Too Much," Sims is a perfect brawler for the Doomtree family. He's brash, flexes a lightning-quick delivery, and rages just enough punk to keep the album dirty. They also share a similar voice: a raspy, cigarette-laden huff that comes full-bodied from the chest. The difference, as shown on second LP Bad Time Zoo, is evident as early as opener "Future Shock," which, over crisp bongos and African song, reveals a more melodic sound than P.O.S' industrialism.