When you think “Odd Couple,” you might think of this (and the theme song will probably get stuck in your head, so, sorry). Or, you might think of your parents. OR, you might think of a musical duo comprised of musicians from very different bands: Indie rockers Interpol and hip hop’s legendary Wu-Tang Clan, for instance. That last one, specifically, is this week’s New Music Friday feature: Banks and Steelz, otherwise known as Interpol’s Paul Banks and Wu-Tang’s RZA.
But here’s the thing: it’s actually not that odd. If you listen to the album, which combines the best parts of Interpol and Wu-Tang, it makes a lot of sense. Though it took a while to get to a truly solid collaboration, they bonded as “chess buddies.” They’ve both gone by cool aliases, and they’re both “music geeks” who obsessively collect new instruments and ideas. And though their styles as individual musicians may have seemed disparate at first, they combine into something pretty awesome. The album is equal parts fun, dark, danceable, and hypnotic. It blends electronic beats with acoustic instruments, RZA’s hard-hitting rap with Banks’ smooth vocals. Basically, it’s great. But it’s got a harshness to it.
RZA told Noisey: “[Our music] is like one of them seasonings … called ‘Flavor All;’ you can put that shit on anything.”
We should note here that, though New Music Friday is usually dedicated to local acts that are currently based in Brooklyn, we really focus on artists that represent New York City. Banks and Steelz are definitely that, and their new album, Anything But Words, drops today via Warner Brothers Records. (more…)