It has been four long years since hip-hop’s answer to John Green released an album, but MC Lars is back with guns blazing, boasting another crowd-funded product. Only this time, instead of a lit-hop EP, it’s in the form of a thirteen track LP, dubbed ‘The Zombie Dinosaur’.
Just like ‘This Gigantic Robot Kills’, ‘The Zombie Dinosaur LP’ opens with ‘Where Ya Been Lars?’, one of many sequels and continuations from the 2009 release. Whereas ‘True Player For Real’ was a “self-referential introduction song”, ‘The Zombie Dinosaur LP’ as a whole is a self-referential album, calling on many of Lars‘ older gems, such as ‘Hipster Girl’ and ‘White Kids Aren’t Hyphy’, as if to say “remember how awesome these were?!” Thankfully, though, Lars doesn’t rely solely on the nostalgia factor, and fucking knocks it out of the park with killer tracks such as the Game of Thrones-themed ‘Dragon Blood’.
Unfortunately, a lot of the songs here just don’t live up to the insanely high bar that Lars has set himself in the past. The somber, soul-bearing ‘Never Afraid’ doesn’t tap into the emotions as much as ‘Twenty-Three’ did, and, despite being so very on point with ‘Sublime With Rome (Is Not The Same Thing As Sublime)’, it still lacks the cutting venom and animosity of ‘Hot Topic Is Not Punk Rock’ or ‘No Logo’.
There’s also a considerable amount of filler present on here, too. The likes of ‘If I Were A Jedi (That Would Be Hella Awesome)’, ‘The Dip’, and ‘Party With Lars’ all lack focus and just fade into background noise.
Then you have ‘The Top 10 Things To Never Say On A First Date’, which samples/steals the riffs from Liam Lynch‘s one hit wonder, ‘United States Of Whatever’. How this shockingly bad track made the final cut is genuinely baffling, as it’s devoid of Lars‘ trademark wit and notably lacking in his charming intelligence. It’s one of those songs that would go down well in a live show because it could easily be changed and updated with what’s topical, but to include it an album is just insane.
Considering this album has been almost three years in the making, ‘The Zombie Dinosaur LP’ is sadly underwhelming. The production side of the record is stunning and, as a musician, Lars continues to progress; it’s just a shame that the lyrics fall flat in quite a few places. There are a handful of brilliant songs here, and a fuck off sized dinosaur on the cover,but just don’t expect to be as bowled over as you were with ‘This Gigantic Robot Kills’ or ‘The Graduate’.
Written by Andy Roberts (@sassensquatch)