P.O.S lives up to the ambitious title of his third album on the Rhymesayers label, Never Better. Having produced two-thirds of the album on his own, this veteran of the Minneapolis hardcore punk scene melds distorted guitars, blues-holler samples, Fugazi references and the hard edges of punk with head-noddin' hip-hop beats. Lyrically dark and dexterous, P.O.S raps like a stalactite duct taped to the head of a kick drum operated by an autistic speed freak at an anger management class. But he also relaxes into contemplation with tuneful choruses, giving the album a rich, listenable texture. "The Brave and the Snake" is a cinematic criticism calling for a great escape from Plato's cave, while "Been Afraid" reveals a penetrating story of love-as-refuge, and "Out of Category" sums up the style clash with P.O.S's life-story rhyme.