From the Clash's early rap tributes to Mos Def's ghetto rock, when musical boundaries correspond to racial ones, musicians cross them self-consciously and very carefully. But on Hoodlum Rock: Vol. 1, Atlanta's all-black quintet El Pus stitches together funk, punk, hip-hop, and hard rock so confidently and with such apparent abandon that it makes previous genre mind-melds sound stilted and underdeveloped. With a breezy melodic sense, the group even bucks the cardinal rule of most of its genres: You have to be hard. For craftsmen of a sound that others will peg with all kinds of political implications, El Pus's bandmates have a truly revolutionary ambition: to have some damn fun.
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