Grizzly Gato – While You Were Sleeping (Sub-Bombin Records)

NYC duo unleash innovative, rewarding debut album

Released Aug 11th, 2015 via Sub-Bombin Records / By Sam Bennett
Grizzly Gato – While You Were Sleeping (Sub-Bombin Records) New York duo Grizzly Gato's new album While You Were Sleeping, released through Sub-Bombing Records, is diverse and wildly entertaining; it stays true to the roots of the East Coast sound, but is definitely something different and unique. Grizzly Grimace and Odd Gato, the two members of the duo have a charismatic style, with animated flows and deliveries, and funky, diverse production.

'Vs Donny Wahlberg' is an early highlight. The gritty, boom-bap esque production is layered and sinister, and the complex, punchy and powerful spitting is equally effective. 'Ginger Beer' takes more of an experimental, left-field direction, with synth lines perhaps not to be expected in a New York rap record. It's choices and songs like these that make Grizzly Gato such a dynamic and intriguing group, with socially conscious aspects to their lyrics mixed with a deserved confidence in their skill. The laidback, punchline heavy Wieners is another great track, with jazzy, electric guitar driven production complete with dusty drums.

The fast-paced 'Pork Belly' is a frantic ride, and is another standout from While You Were Sleeping. Featuring Elsphinx, the busy production gels well with the convincing flows and lively energy provided on the microphone. The electronic direction of 'Campsite' is another example of the sheer range in the spectrum tackled by Grizzly Gato on this album; the abrasive synthesizers and punchy drums back really confident deliveries. 'Yin Yang' takes a more introspective route, and the soulful instrumental backs the personal references littered throughout the verses; the beat switch up is a dope addition too.

While You Were Sleeping is an impressive album from a quirky, incredibly interesting group. Grizzly Gato blend raw authenticity with a tendency to explore and experiment, with rewarding results. New York hip-hop is unfairly put into a box sometimes, and with groups like this and others (such as Ratking for instance) currently pushing quality music, that preconception is clearly outdated.