Scarlxrd — Dxxm II — Album Review
Rap | Hardcore | Rap Metal
My earliest memory of being aware of the musical project of Wolverhampton rap artist Marius Lucas Antonio Listhrop, known as Scarlxrd (pronounced as scarlord), was simply the word of mouth going around upon the time when Reading Festival was a few years ago. When some of the friends I hung out with at siad festival, returned to the campsite drenched in sweat and dirt, I knew that I had missed out on something big.
Nevertheless, I still hadn’t heard an awful lot of Scarlxrd’s discography, beyond the well-known hits like “6 Feet”, until recently.
This week has given me the opportunity to pick up on a couple of albums that were released earlier this month, that somehow slipped past me upon their actual release date, due to the sheer amount of good music relentlessly coming out. The first of those few albums was indeed Scarlxrd’s newest album, Dxxm II.
As the title suggests, Dxxm II serves as the spiritual successor to Scarlxrd’s 2018 project DXXM. And with the sheer amount of projects that Scarlxrd has dished out over the years, Dxxm II might not even be the only album we see from him this year. Nevertheless, Dxxm II is my personal gateway album into the artist.
From the little skim-overs I had on other albums, The DXXM series stuck out for me as the projects that had the heaviest emphasis on hardcore instrumentation, which feels somewhat reminiscent of artists like GHOSTEMANE, and seems like the most fitting kind for Scarlxrd’s vocal style. With that in mind, I am most certainly glad that I got into his music through the latest addition to said series.
That being said, however, there seemed to be a common structural theme with a vast majority of song on this album. We’d get some kind of hardcore-style guitar-chug sample at the beginning, before a standalone vocal points gives way to a bass-boosted loop. And while this formula is one that indeed works, to see it so often on this 21-track project, and a pretty intense one of that too, did make the overall experience a little patience-testing.
But with my biggest gripe with Dxxm II out of the way, there are definitely some tracks that do stick out more than others, as ones that really harness the dynamic aesthetic perfectly, and really made for some golden moments on the project.
And there seemed to be a range of reasons as to why some tracks were better than others; whether that was because of the heightened sense of fluidity between each instrumental element like on “Ngafiyd”, or a more fluid feel like on “Destrxy the Cure”, there were some unique attributes scattered across the album, which did as well as they could to try and pull my attention away from the repetitive feeling that lies beneath this project.
But now finishing things off with my favourite quality that this album offers, is its sheer level of intensity, which I haven’t felt from a musical project in quite some time. It simply reeks such a controversial and edgy odour, and it takes me back to a time when I was a highly angsty teen, with only one specific circle of music genres that I deemed my go-to. But with the element of Scarlxrd’s borderline Soundcloud-rap style giving this project a more current flavour, I can only imagine the depth of how this artist is connecting with modern teens, just like how the heavier music of the late 2000’s and early 2010’s connected with me.
Favourite Tracks: Destrxy the Cure | Rxbxt Slut! | Red Light
Least Favourite Track: Stand Yxur Grxund
Enjoyment: 8/10 | Memorability: 8/10 | Atmosphere: 8/10
Uniqueness: 7/10 | Satisfaction: 7/10 | Narrative: 7/10