SLEEP, COWBOY. – GREASEBALL
I think when an artist is really in the zone they tap into the primordial origins of the milieu in which they exist – not always even consciously or intentionally at all, but when you’re a good artist and you’re in touch with the source of your power it just happens. From 2006-2012, Scottish chaos magician Grant Morrison wrote Batman comics and one of the ideas that he tapped into is that Gotham City is a machine that creates Batmen…
With Sleep, Cowboy. Greaseball taps into the honky tonk country folk idiom, an ignored but real face of Southwestern culture.
Grease plays texturedly with the idea of slowness, of sleep, of being lackadaisical, of the thin line between morosity, ennui and chill.
These songs often aren’t rock or rap but they are Greaseball – Asend shows his versatility with the several tracks he produces here. Grease picks warm slightly distorted piano samples with a cohesive, shared quality – helping to establish his albums in a decade that always and never existed.
Aggressively artsy, the album has two introductions before arriving at the indie scene ode “Parlay Wop”. Grease talks about leaving and returning home, scumbag artist kid life, and a lot of the time his mind turns into hot steam quickly evaporating into the night sky and this album records it as it happens so you can his hear his brilliant, maddened rambles and rants.
Where does an artist go after the stuff he tackled in the last two albums? Those two albums Happiness to Me and Alligator King absolutely exist in the same hipster kid paradigm as this album but those were focused on a thesis more broad: what is happiness, how should a person be?
“Holding on to the devils in your dreams / I awoke to the smell of gasoline”
Grease is a folk-singer now more than ever, tapping into psychedelic and earnest phrases and questions that could be straight out of '64-'66 Bob Dylan. The "Hephty Interlude" is a wonderful bit of neo-hip-hop hippie life. If you like Open Mike Eagle and Rhys Langston, you'll dig Greaseball's ironically campy and poignant campfire crooning.
This record is less about answering life’s biggest questions so much as it’s about being in touch with the moment you’re existing in, it’s about answering a narrower question: what does a stony sharp-tongued Southwestern song writer in the postpostpostmodern 2020s sound like? How do you spit this dope while still expressing how little of a fuck you give? Grease walks the line with ease, he is the sleep cowboy.
Tristan "Tanjint Wiggy" Acker is a staff writer for Zus Entertainment, a Jooseboxx and Untapped Hip-Hop contributor, and member of the Inland Empire, California based nerdculture hip-hop group the West Coast Avengers