Bad Time Zoo
Sims approaches the microphone with the ferocity of a man who has had one too many sandwiches snatched off his plate. This Minneapolis-based wordsmith, along with his Doomtree cohorts, makes some of the most inspiring and down to earth hip hop in the modern era. A first-person narrative of alienation in the digital age (“Future Shock”) over fearsome drums courtesy of Lazerbeak, who handles all production duties on Bad Time Zoo, sets the mood for a raw, unapologetic 52 minutes of Midwest indie rap.
The importance of the here and now is at the forefront of Sims’ agenda on his second full-length. “Hey you, looking like you’re way past due / don’t let them days pass you” he implores the listener on the record-closing anthem “Hey You.” Through its myriad upbeat manifestos, Bad Time Zoo acts as a self-help book without all the tired clichés.
While the thematic anchor of the finite nature of existence serves the record well, Sims is wise to include diversions in the form of “Radio Opaque” and “One Dimensional Man” and deserves mucho props for the Charlie Day reference on “Good Times.” Six years after the release of his critically-acclaimed Lights Out Paris, Sims is continuing the legacy of life-affirming indie rap emerging from the Twin Cities.
Song you will remember in five years: “Future Shock”
Line you will remember in five years: “We bought wings out of clay and wondered why that wouldn’t fly” (from “Burn It Down”)