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Album Review: Dr Octagon - Moosebumps: An Exploration Into Modern Day Horripilation

5 April 2018 | 12:34 pm | James d'Apice

"Is the quality of the music good enough to ignore the distasteful other stuff?"

There is no place for Kool Keith's alter ego, Dr Octagon, in today's world.

There barely was when he was conceived in the mid-1990s when we were more forgiving of horror-inflected misogyny rap. That means that the question we must ask ourselves is not "Should I be ashamed that I ever listened to Dr Octagon?" but "How could anyone listen to Dr Octagon and not feel shame?"

Dr Octagon has always felt like a teenage male stoner's sexually frustrated fever dream. Moosebumps... does little to alter the position. However - as distasteful as the thought may be - it does highlight the fundamental cultural issue we do battle with whenever we meet Dr Octagon (and particularly 2006's The Return Of Dr Octagon): is the quality of the music good enough to ignore the distasteful other stuff?

For decades, the answer has been an uncomfortable "maybe". Here, again, there are shining gems like pressing, brutal opening Octagon Octagon, the Terminator-inspired Polka Dots, or Del-driven 3030 Meets The Doc, Pt 1. But then there are also moments like the terror-inflected pornography sample that opens Area 54 to bring us crashing to Earth. For some years, there's been a fear that dismissing Dr Octagon for being offensive would show you're a square, a wowser, unable to take a joke. Happily, we've moved on.

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We can now say that, no matter how compelling elements of this record are, this is not art worthy of our time.