The Triggermen: "Live Wire"

by Raul Alonzo - The Drop (Summer 2016)

The golden age of hip-hop was an era often defined by the preeminence and funkiness of the DJ, the larger-than-life persona of rhythmic MCs and, of course, the bouncy parties that rocked blocks throughout the Bronx into the wee hours of the morning.

Austin's Triggermen seek to echo the vibes of that era in their music. With their latest release, Live Wire, the trio manage to meld modem dance sounds and elements with old school rhythms to produce an engaging, albeit short, mix of nostalgic fun.

The opening number, "Dead Beat Socialite," sets a pace that hardly lets up throughout the under-20-minute album. Fun rhymes and creative sampling (the notorious Bill O'Reilly "DO IT LIVE" bit was a favorite) combine for a high-energy feel reminiscent of the music of Grandmaster Flash or Run DMC's heyday. "Scratchual Harassment" displays the technical skill of the group's DJ Yosamite before launching into a playful back-and-forth about a blind date gone wrong by MCs Hysteria 51 and Jenligerence in "More Troubled Than Me."

The two MCs continously mix strong personalities in their lyrics with Jenligerence, in particular, showing off a wide range of emotion and a capability of taking on multiple characterizations through her sharp deliveries.

Live Wire is ultimately harmless fun, a throwback to one of the earliest aspects of hip-hop that sought to create an escape from the economic terrorism and systemic racism unleashed on the community that gave birth to the genre. As many of the same aspects of these forms of oppression continue to persist, so will the necessity to dance away one's worries at the end of the day continue to welcome such albums as this. 


Review by Allison Lindsey

Influenced by 90s hip-hop, scratch vinyl and self proclaimed “shenanigans,” comes the unique album Live Wire from Austin’s hip-hop outfit, The Triggermen.

The trio is composed of Shannon Prunty, Jennie Sonta and Sam Woodfin — three rebellious hip-hop heads who have cultivated a layered sound that is creating a new sub-genre amongst the rap community.

Austin’s hip-hop and rap scene has recently faced a deflation in the production of quality content. The self-fulfilling prophecy that falsely promises music consumers that “everyone is a rapper,” has driven the genre out of the city. Thankfully, The Triggermen have taken this fallacy into their own hands and created a multi-faceted, incredibly unique take on modern hip-hop.

The album, Live Wire incorporates inspiration from hip-hops most prominent era: the 90s. The album relies on scratch DJing and quirky vocal samples, a radiating musical conglomeration. The Triggermen capitalize on an already popular style of hip-hop and rap by cultivating hyped, electronic samples into the tracks. The album is perfect for a house party or an early morning when you need to brush off your comatose state of existence. The album is undoubtedly, and simply, happy.

Each track possesses a sense of dorkiness with unfettered, kooky yet brilliant lyricism, certain to get a reaction out of it’s listener. The album is somewhere between Andy Samberg’s project, The Lonely Island and Run DMC— beautifully and dangerously hilarious.

While 8/9 of the tracks are heavy on goofball banter, although, track 4, “Scratchual Harassment” yields some serious instrumental groove. The production is funky fresh and finely tuned, taking it’s listener back to the roots of hip-hop. On the other hand, track 3, “Live Wire,” the albums name-sake, takes the cake for boldness. It is lyrically attention grabbing, loud and will get a party started, regardless of it’s production.

Altogether, Live Wire is an assembly of multiple genre’s — an execution of a new age take on hip-hop. The Triggermen use Austin-esque prestige and swagger to draw a novel map of the future of rap. The album is light-hearted, centered around boogie and a working example of creativity.