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Knux continues to push toward new boundaries

Fri., Dec. 9, 2011, midnight

When the Knux emerged on the national radar a few years ago, the sibling duo brought a new subgenre to the world of rap.

Call it hipster-hop.

The rules to the rap game were shattered on “Remind Me in 3 Days…,” the 2008 studio debut by Kentrell and Alvin Lindsey – also known as Krispy and Joey, respectively.

The alterna-rap twosome fused influences from the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Tears for Fears, The Doors and The Clash for a sound that was as un-hip-hop in its instrumentation as it was purist hip-hop in its lyrical content.

The two rappers/producers and multi-instrumentalists sandwiched rhymes about partying, girls, and parting with girls between infectious hooks amid guitar-drenched club anthems with grimy beats and New Wave inflections.

Recalling elements of Outkast, Common and post-ODB Wu-Tang, Krispy and Joey’s off-kilter soundscapes were tempered with easily accessible chants and choruses and raw subject matter, lacing their lyrics with drugged-up excursions over sonic psychedelia.

On the duo’s new album, The Knux once again are pushing the boundaries of hip-hop, while sticking to its tradition.

Released in late September on Interscope Records, “Eraser” takes the momentum of “Remind Me in 3 Days…” and its followup EP a step beyond by turning up the intensity with even more rockin’, guitar-driven fire-starters and dance-inducing beats.

Largely produced by the New Orleans-born, Hollywood-bred brothers, “Eraser” crosses a plethora of genres – from classic rock, funk, glam, pop, R&B, and Southern-fried garage rock – without compromising its hip-hop aesthetic.

While the instrumentation – nearly all of which is performed by the Lindsey brothers – breaks the mold for hip-hop, the lyrics reflect familiar themes, this time weighing in heavy on the opposite sex and turning down the drug jargon a notch or two.

On nearly all 13 tracks on “Eraser” there is a reference to the female species in one regard or the other, generally focusing on the tension that arises in relationships.

The Knux enlisted the help of a few guests on “Eraser,” including Natalia Kills on the club knocker “1974,” Jack Davey of indie darlings D*Davey on “I See Stars,” and fellow hipster heavyweight Kid Cudi on the single, “Run.” The album also contains music co-produced by John “Abba Zabba” McClain, and Blake Miller from Moving Units.

Blending a wide array of sounds with bread-crumb trail lyrics on “Eraser,” The Knux continue their assault with gender battles and genre wars.

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