Bike power!Dream & Produce / DAP Music, 2014
4.3 / 10
The best moments on Brand New Bike come around when Sam Lachow shuts his mouth and lets his backing band go. Lachow himself isn’t a particularly skilled rapper, and the people who play behind him don’t seem to know much about hip-hop, but the album does contain bits and pieces of good ideas of a jazz/rock album. Instead, we have a lazy mess of a rap album—and that’s lazy even by rap standards.
Lachow makes a big deal of pointing out that he has a live backing band, possibly in an attempt to put himself on the same pedestal as the Roots. I’m not the biggest fan of the Roots, but at least they sound like a band most of the time—most of the arrangements played by Lachow’s band could have made on a laptop. To be sure, Lachow’s poor songwriting capabilities aren’t limited to producing poor compositions as his rapping is even less inspired. “Hash Muffins” is about getting wasted while playing video games, “Rude Pussy” is about how much better Lachow is than most women, and “Gary Payton” is about both Seattle and nothing.
There’s not much here that’s worth hearing. I can see this being okay party music, but only if everyone is sufficiently stoned and your copy of Licensed to Ill won’t play for some reason. I wouldn’t mind hearing another Sam Lachow album, but only if Sam Lachow wasn’t a part of it.