Just when you think the entire world has been neatly packaged into same size cartons, along comes Mystr Treefrog. Social commentary is not often found these days. He is what Dylan might have become if he had not got old and tired. Sometimes chanting, sometimes ranting, sometimes singing, he takes us on a journey through the real America of today.
Starting with the powerful groove of "Chikin Milk", he states his political viewpoints loud and clear referring to the metaphorical "weapon of mass lactation". "Rednex n Gangstaz" expresses his views that we are the same under the skin passing the comment that "divide and conquer is the oldest trick in the book". Clearly he believes that it suits the powers that be to keep communities in conflict with each other. "Everyman" has all the anger of early, electric Dylan with a wall shaking intensity. "U Fit the Profile" rants against the categorisation of people into groups. Individuals are not welcome anymore but at least we can be told who our enemy is for this week. "Bible Belt" takes us on a tour of the economic poverty in the southern United States of America. He poses the question of whether there is anything left to believe in and whether freedom of thought let alone freedom of speech still exists. Ending with a curious mix of hillbilly and hip hop beats in "Troubled Sleep", this is an unusual and intelligent collection of songs.
Although in an entirely different musical genre, we think his music neatly parallels the work of the reggae poet Linton Kwesi Johnson. It should be on the curriculum in schools as freedom of speech has indeed become a concept rather than a right.
No doubt about it, Mystr Treefrog is an original. Even in the land of the free, it takes courage to speak your mind. Given that he has put his views to some powerhouse swamp blues, this release proved an irresistible combination to us. Maybe you won't like the music but you have to respect his words. A man with a conscience is a rarity these days and if you don't believe in what he is saying then do like the lyrics in "U Fit The Profile" - bend over, this won't hurt a bit! The strangest album we have reviewed in quite some time, it is nevertheless a compelling piece of work. Available by worldwide mail order from CD Baby.