Injury Reserve – [Injury Reserve]

We’ve been hearing “Injury Reserve Coming Soon” for months now, and the day that we can finally listen to their self-titled album in full is here. Earlier this week, I wrote a piece highlighting everything the group has done so far including the singles in support of this album, what makes the group so great, and how committed they are to their craft. I’m happy to say that the group delivered with their latest release, as expected.

The production on this project is layered, diverse, and pulls from a variety of genres. Elements of noise are heard on the hard-hitting second half of “What a Year It’s Been”, there’s some early 2000’s sounding production on the quirky “Gravy n’ Biscuits”, and “Best Spot In The House” features some glitchy and atmospheric production.

“GTFU”, track three, is a journey in and of itself. It opens with a hard-hitting and raw, stripped-down beat, along with intense verses from Cakes Da Killa and Ritchie along with additional vocals from JPEGMAFIA that add a sense of chaos to the track. Before long though, the song transitions into this mystical soundscape backdropping a couple of brutally honest verses from Groggs and Ritchie. “Rap Song Tutorial” takes an extremely creative and interesting approach, walking the listener through the creation of a rap song.

As far as features on here, Freddie Gibbs drops a silky smooth verse to close out “Wax On”, Aminè drops a flashy verse on the teaser track “Jailbreak The Tesla”, and Rico Nasty proves her versatility on “Jawbreaker”. DRAM, Tony Velour, and Dylan Brady contribute to the heartfelt “New Hawaii”.

I want to highlight my favorite song on the album, “Three Man Weave” which comes together beautifully and ends the album stronger than any closer I’ve heard in recent memory. It’s this stunning culmination of jazzy hip-hop, featuring some intricate production reminiscent of Kanye’s Late Registration, and the song just encapsulates all of modern internet rap, with a number of great references. Along with this, it’s a feel-good outro to the group’s self-titled album, ending the album with an ode to the three members of the group as a comparison to a basketball drill, proving how essential each member is to the group. The three of them did something special on not only this track, but the entire album, and this is definitely going to stand as one of the stronger rap albums in 2019 when all is said and done.

This self-titled record is a perfect way to define the group. Injury Reserve is as inventive as ever on here, and they prove furthermore that they aren’t going anywhere. There’s a little bit of something for everyone on here, check out Injury Reserve below and on all streaming services today.