The last time we saw Ian Bavitz, aka Aesop Rock, he was tearing apart a giant dinosaur piñata on-stage in San Francisco backed by Kimya Dawson and big Rob Sonic. That was over a year ago when the New York transplant (now living in San Francisco) was at a career inflection point, promoting his collaboration work instead of the vicious solo efforts that made him infamous on Def Jux.
Five years since his last album, None Shall Pass, Aesop Rock is back, this time with Skelethon. There’s a new label (Rhymesayers) and a few new faces (notably, Dawson). But, the core remains the same. On “Zero Dark Thirty,” Bavitz it at his breathless best, flowing over a scratchy alien beat while rhyming words that have no business fitting together (see: “plunging necklines” and “hungry enzymes”). With little room for a chorus, Aesop Rock–so familiar to sharing the spotlight over the last half decade–is back to being the one and only focus. About time.
Skelethon is out on Rhymesayers on July 10.
Aesop Rock- Zero Dark Thirty (download)