Album Review: “BlickyBlam” by Cigs Inside

Album Review: “BlickyBlam” by Cigs Inside
Written By: Dan Eachus

In the realm of experimental hip-hop, few acts can claim to have a sound as distinctive and daring as Cigs Inside. This Pacific Northwest trio, comprised of members ieke, Coleman, and Sstrawberry, have been pushing boundaries and defying genre conventions since their inception. With their latest album, “BlickyBlam,” they continue their fearless exploration of the human experience, particularly focusing on the complexities of self-extension and its emotional aftermath.

“BlickyBlam” is an immersive journey into the minds of Cigs Inside, a trio that thrives on genre fusion and experimentation. Their sonic palette is a rich blend of electro-pop, hip-hop, breakcore, and R&B, seamlessly merging modern production techniques with analog instrumentation. This amalgamation of styles results in an album that feels both nostalgic and forward-thinking, drawing inspiration from modern rap music and the alternative sounds of the ’80s.

The latest single from the album, “Don’t Know Where To Start,” serves as a captivating anchor to the album’s overarching themes and sonic landscape. As the final single released before the album’s drop, it encapsulates the essence of “BlickyBlam” beautifully. In this track, Cigs Inside embarks on a journey of introspection and self-discovery, mirroring the album’s broader exploration of extending oneself and the emotional repercussions that ensue. Music video below:

One of the striking aspects of “Don’t Know Where To Start” is its minimalist production. Cigs Inside deliberately scales back the sonic elements, allowing the lyrics and emotions to take center stage. This decision pays off immensely, as it allows listeners to connect with the raw and unfiltered vulnerability of the trio.

The lyrics themselves are a masterclass in introspective songwriting. Cigs Inside lyrically dismantles the idea of invincibility and recklessness, which often accompanies the pursuit of self-extension. The trio delves into the harsh realities of living life on the edge, unflinchingly portraying the insecurities and uncertainties that follow such a path.

Throughout the track, there’s a palpable sense of conflict, both internal and external. The narrative grapples with the consequences of “taking a wrecking ball to their ego,” a metaphor for the destructive behavior that often accompanies ambition and self-discovery. This emotional turmoil is expertly conveyed through the trio’s vocal deliveries, which oscillate between moments of resignation and determination.

Musically, “Don’t Know Where To Start” is a testament to Cigs Inside’s ability to craft intricate soundscapes that blur the lines between genres. The track incorporates elements of electro-pop and hip-hop, with glitchy percussion and hypnotic synths providing the backdrop for the trio’s lyrical introspection. There’s a sense of urgency in the beat, mirroring the chaos and intensity of the themes explored in the song.

The production on “Don’t Know Where To Start” is a testament to Cigs Inside’s mastery of their craft. The trio’s willingness to embrace both modern and retro elements in their sound results in a unique sonic tapestry. The blending of modern production techniques with analog instrumentation creates a rich and immersive listening experience that keeps the audience engaged from start to finish.

As “Don’t Know Where To Start” draws to a close, there’s a palpable sense of resolution. The trio finds a way back to positivity and normalcy, suggesting that even after “wrecking it all,” there’s hope for redemption and self-discovery. This track, while just a glimpse into the larger narrative of “BlickyBlam,” sets the stage for an album that promises to be a deeply introspective and emotionally charged exploration of the human condition.

In conclusion, “BlickyBlam” by Cigs Inside is a mesmerizing and thought-provoking journey into the trials and tribulations of extending oneself. The album’s minimalist approach, combined with its genre-blurring sound, creates a sonic landscape that is as evocative as it is immersive. “Don’t Know Where To Start” serves as a compelling entry point into the album, showcasing Cigs Inside’s lyrical depth, emotional range, and sonic innovation. This is an album that demands repeated listens, as each spin reveals new layers of meaning and emotion. Cigs Inside has delivered a masterpiece that will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on the world of experimental hip-hop.


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Dan Eachus is the President and co-owner of RetroSynth Lazersteel Records, with his own musical projects in the band Neutron Dreams and his solo project DMME.

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