Stepchild ( )Problem Child
Little Whore ( )
Stepchild is an experimental hip-hop/reggae duo from Edmonton, AB. The band consists of vocalist Maigan Vandergiessen (of the group Eshod Ibn Wyza), and Madame Wang (who has produced most of the music from Little Whore Records). Problem Child is a six song E.P., which is twenty minutes in length. The album immediately catches attention, merely by the odd packaging and artwork. The E.P. comes as a mini-CD, with a person dressed in gothic attire and holding a small infant as the front cover.
Visual strangeness aside, Problem Child begins with groovy acoustic guitar and reggae-fusion percussion on “Everything But Words”. Vandergiessen sings with great poetic lyricism and a strong hip-hop delivery, providing an interesting introduction to their sound. The second track is “Cracked Like Ice”, which has more of an indie-pop style with upbeat piano and electric guitar as the dominant melody. The E.P. then moves into “Driver/Passenger”, which is a catchy experimental rap with a jazzy instrumental focus. The fourth song is the title track, and is a socially conscious hip-hop duet with Run N’ Watta. The last two songs, “Trouble Every Day” and “Laser Beam (feat. Ali Seifi)” are the most structured and pop-oriented moments of the album. StepChild expresses their political messages over tropical reggae vibes with a rock-fusion feel. The last song, “Laser Beam”, uses ska sounds and soulful singing with diverse hip-hop rhythms. Problem Child is an excellent E.P. from start to end, which successfully experiments with lots of different genre influences.
By Marshal Hignett
Sep 9, 2011