Music News

The Pirate Sygnl

Far too many MCs use a lot of syllables to say virtually nothing. Fortunately, Bdbeyond and Yonnas, the Pirate Sygnl's main mouthpieces, are exceptions to this rule. Their socially conscious, furiously political declarations make Norma(l) a rap album in which the raps actually matter.

Neither Bdbeyond nor Yonnas has a flow for the ages, but the passion and anger they pour into the likes of "Government Church," keyed by lines such as "Fuck this dirty country/And fuck its dirty laws," keep the tracks compelling. The musical contributions of DJ Psycho and Joey K. are just as important. Rather than rely on played-out sonic elements, they draw from a dizzying variety of sources -- "Meet the Pirate Sygnl!" includes medieval chants, of all things -- to create a mix that's dark, dense and consistently ominous. The result is uneasy listening in the best sense of the phrase.

The voices of protest broadcast by this Sygnl come through loud and clear.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

Latest Stories