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Live Review: Injury Reserve

17 June 2019 | 12:58 pm | Calogero Algeri

"Injury Reserve had the energy in the room at levels rarely seen at live shows of any genre."

Formed in 2013, Arizona rap group Injury Reserve have built a name for themselves as an oddball trio that continually break the mould. Having just released their self-titled debut album, the group rolled through Jack Rabbit Slim's on Saturday night for what can only be described as a frenzy of strobe lights, hard raps and distorted bass.

While Injury Reserve have undoubtedly amassed a fanbase in their own right, it was somewhat surprising to see this show had sold out. Despite the fact their debut album boasts appearances from established hip hop acts like Amine and Freddie Gibbs, Injury Reserve prefer to place themselves on the fringe of rap - evidently opening up their sound to a more extensive audience. 

This audience was out in full force, with the room boasting one of the tightest-packed dancefloors to be seen at Jack Rabbit Slim's in some time. The trio jumped straight into the album-opener Koruna & Lime, immediately transforming the entire crowd into the nosebleeds. Before long, tracks like Washed Up and the Freddie Gibbs-assisted Wax On had mosh pits opening up in the already jam-packed crowd. 

The set continuously ducked and weaved into every corner of the group's sound: the abrasive sonics of GTFU, the Latin melodies of Gravy N’ Biscuits, the alt-jazz influence of S On Ya Chest and the hard-hitting electronic production of Jailbreak The Tesla. All the while, having a qualified DJ in producer Parker Corey impressively allowed smooth transitions to tie the set together coherently.

Injury Reserve had the energy in the room at levels rarely seen at live shows of any genre. The unrestrained stage production didn’t distract from the undeniable stage presence and lyrical delivery exhibited by front men Stepa J Groggs and Ritchie With A T.

From mosh circles to speaker blowouts, Injury Reserve’s live show illustrated why they’ve built such a strong cult following.

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