Album Review: Kottonmouth Kings - 'Hidden Stash 420'

7 December 2009 | 5:42 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Rap Rock straight out of the OC.

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If ‘Hidden Stash 420’ was a carton of milk, it would read: expires 1999. The Rap/Rock crossover is no longer the flavour of the month – Limp Bizkit is not on high rotation anymore (thankfully).

There are no concerning flaws on Californian six piece, Kottonmouth King’s twelfth studio album if you’re a pre-existing fan. Two discs boasting 40 songs is going to keep the loyal well entertained. However, there is something inherently lame and a tad embarrassing about 30 plus year old guys singing about getting high on almost every song – Stoner bitch, We can smoke, Miss smokey, Purple smoke (we get it!). It is fair to say the song titles and lyrical themes get a little redundant.

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There are some highlights though worth isolating. ‘Take a Ride’, ‘Tangerine Sky’ and ‘Lookin out the window’ adopt the traditional stylistic approach of old school rap/urban. A repeating backbeat is layered with the vocals of the assorted members. The prevalent strong grooves are enough to maintain a semblance of interest.

Conversely, songs such as ‘Got it get it’ and ‘Late Night Call’ channel a more LA rap persona – dirty beats and your standard ‘gangster’ inspired vocals. Nothing more, nothing less.

‘Hidden Stash 420’s’ biggest downfall is that it all revolves around clichéd musical structures. The lyrics focus on the literal – sex and drugs, and really nothing else (40 songs of the same theme). Furthermore, the album is simply too long. Sometimes less is more, and by offering a small selection, you leave the listener wanting more. We all like Mastodon and Between the Buried and Me but something tells me if they released an album with forty songs on it; that too would start to become a musical overload.

If you like Kottonmouth Kings then ‘Hidden Stash 420’ gives you no reason to jump ship (even though this sound for all intents and purposes appeared to die with cargo pants and razor scooters at the start of the 21st century). However, anyone else is likely to have pressed stop by about track seven.

Disc one:

1. Intro

2. Can Anybody Hear Me

3. Take a Ride

4. Evolution

5. Tangerine Sky

6. D Iz Who I B

7. Got It Get It

8. Stoner Bitch

9. Late Night Call

10. Lookin’ Out My Window

11. Mushroom Cloud

12. This Is For You

13. Pack Me Another Rip

14. Purple Smoke

15. Demons

16. Adventures of This

17. Superstar

18. Sick Adventure

19. Sacrifice

20. Let the Music Play

Disc two:

21. Runnin’ Things

22. Wind Me Up

23. Problem Addict

24. New Vision

25. Rebel Music

26. We Can Smoke

27. Spark It Up

28. Dank in my Brain

29. Grind

30. Miss Smokey

31. Get Up

32. No Future

33. Keep it Movin’

34. Don’t Sleep on the Streets

35. Bumpin’

36. Tip Off

37. Action

38. Funky Rhyme

39. Free Willy

40. High Hopes