Mel Gibson and the Pants

What made so many of the rap-rock bands of the past fifteen years so risible is the fact that their music often wasn't a genuine mixing of genres. In recent years, however, artists like Why? and M.I.A. have employed sounds from a wide variety of styles to craft hip-hop rooted in rich eclecticism. Minneapolis's Mel Gibson and the Pants embark on a similar approach, which makes the band's bracing collision of hip-hop, rock and electronic pop and dance music seem familiar yet refreshingly innovative. Although a number of the group's songs contain guitar riffs, they're used more as an atmospheric device than as the driving force of the music, in much the same way that a DJ would manipulate a sample. Likewise, while the aggressive rhythms and bass lines are reminiscent of drum-and-bass, here they're more arch and insistent. Traditionalists who yearn for the past might hang a lazy handle such as "hipster-hop" on this music, but Mel Gibson and the Pants are charting the path that lies ahead.


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