It’s the month of the indie musician, the true do-it-yourself artist that works ’round the clock to make the best music, package it up, and send it out for the masses to hear. These two – one rapper and one rock band – recently released albums that have potential to help change the face of the industry.

It’s the month of the indie musician, the true do-it-yourself artist that works ’round the clock to make the best music, package it up, and send it out for the masses to hear. These two – one rapper and one rock band – recently released albums that have potential to help change the face of the industry.


Heavy rotation


Just Before Dawn – self-titled (The Breaks Entertainment)


This is about as mysterious as that dude in London back in 2006 who went by the name Burial. He made beats, but nobody knew who he was or what he did. He released a dubstep/electronica album, and everyone thought it was Fatboy Slim’s Norman Cook before they were convinced it was Aphex Twin’s Richard D. James. Wrong.


Well, here’s another Burial, only difference is he comes from the hip-hop scene. These producers from the Boston area who call themselves The Breaks released an album from this rapper who goes by the name Just Before Dawn. He’s allegedly from Breckenridge, Colo. Apparently, this rapper found The Breaks on MySpace. The Breaks crew never met Just Before Dawn. They exchanged tracks through e-mail, and The Breaks produced the entire album.


Just Before Dawn’s self-titled debut is 11 tracks of raw, dark, lyrics backed by a throwback hip-hop sound. It’s reminiscent of the days of the producers of the real hip-hop, not this rubbish on the radio today. We’re talking the likes of DJ Premier and J Dilla. Filled with many, “he didn’t just say that, did he” moments, the album takes you from the depths of broken relationships to someone who’s forging a new path in life, carrying a handful of pills, hard liquor and a smirky-faced swagger.


The landscape is crafted with head-nodding drum beats, some that punch you right in the chest. The Breaks even manage to whisk acoustic guitars into the mix and add some back-in-the-day samples.


Just when you think you’ve figured out Just Before Dawn, the album jackknifes. Just when you’re ready to drop this into one of any of hip-hop’s subgenres, you hear the track “Die Tonite” carried by electric guitars and drums. One track/story that stands out is “Sometimes,” which rolls along with a subtle drum beat and piano samples poured over lyrics about coming “back to reality.” Just Before Dawn, as mysterious as how the album panned out, is the best hip-hop record in years. The rapper’s dark, gruff, and in-your-face rawness snatch you right up, and the beats provided by The Breaks are just downright filthy. 


Rating: 9.5 out of 10


Just Before Dawn’s self-titled album is available on Amazon.com.


Antiproduct – Please Take Your Cash (White Devil Music)


London-based punk rockers have Antiproduct have thrown the middle finger at the corporate music world and major labels and truly do everything on their own. Alex Kane (vocals, guitar), Clare pproduct (bass), Milena Yum (guitar), and Jamie Oliver (drums) are ace do-it-yourselfers, taking it as far as packaging this new CD themselves and mailing it out to fans, autographed and all. And they’re not throwing an album full of rubbish out there, either.


After enlisting epic record producer Sylvia Massy, who put her stamp on Tool’s "Undertow" and also worked with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Johnny Cash, Antiproduct recorded an album that goes in 100 different directions at the same time.


The band whips together a blend of the early days of punk to the hardest of hard rock, and at times this fivesome scales back to a power-pop sound. The top tracks on the album are “Arms Around the World,” with its strangely bizarre blend of pop harmonies and hardcore punk and the bouncy glam punk remake of The Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations.” With the energy this band emits, it’s no wonder Marky Ramone grabbed Kane and Clare to make them part of his new Ramones band. Listen to this album and play it as loud as possible. It’s the only way to get the full effect. And not that it needed an added element, but rather than inserting a list of boring liner notes, the CD booklet is a mini comic book in which Antiproduct saves the world. It’s exactly what this album does.


Rating: 8.8 out of 10


For more info, visit www.antiproduct.com.


Check out Patriot Ledger contributor Ryan Wood's Take Me to Your Music blog at http://blogs.townonline.com/planetmusic. You can also read more in the Take Me to Your Music Facebook group.