Local Wire

The Knux @ 910 Live

When the hip-hop duo of Kentrell "Krispy" Lindsey and Alvin "Joey" Lindsey, better known as The Knux, burst onto the scene with 2008's Remind Me in Three Days, they were decked out in skinny jeans and leather jackets, with electric guitars strapped on and skateboards under their Chucks. In short, they were sort of the anti-Soulja Boys, a rock 'n' rap hybrid that seemed as unlikely as it was funky. Since then, the hip-hop scene has taken a turn for the weird: Lil Wayne tried his hand at rocking out, Kanye incorporated art-rock's bombast, and Odd Future snuck up from the L.A. underbelly and snatched away the punk-rap crown. Eraser, The Knux's 2011 release, didn't try to compete, instead aiming for an easy pop breeze. "1974," featuring Natalia Kills could be a Pink or Black Eyed Peas B-side; "Dead World" rides a faux-reggae beat that belies the presence of engineer Robert Orton, whose work with The Police is echoed here. "Run," the album's most obvious hit features Kid Cudi, whose own rock project, WZRD, follows a similar path, rapping over fuzz-boxed guitars, though he doesn't seem to be quite as interested in ear-wormy catchiness the way The Knux are.

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Jason P. Woodbury is a music and pop-culture writer based in Phoenix. He is a regular contributor to the music blog Aquarium Drunkard and co-host of the Transmissions podcast.