Album review: Evil Ebenezer – The Penguin EP

July 10, 2012

Evil Ebenezer - The Penguin EPTitle: The Penguin
Artist: Evil Ebenezer
Label: Camobear Records
Released: May 2012
In One Word: Inspired

Later this July the world will be gripped with Batman-fever again when The Dark Knight Rises opens in cinemas on Friday the 20th. In the latest movie, Batman pits his wits – and ever-expanding utility-belt – up against baddies Bane and Catwoman. Word on the Tweet is that Christopher Nolan’s trilogy ending epic is set to throw up a few “gut punch” surprises, but perhaps it is too much to wish for for a surprise return of Batman’s trickiest, ugliest, and most-scheming enemies, The Penguin. As amazing as the new Batman movie may be, will anything ever top Batman Returns? It had the best batmobile by far, Danny DeVito was BORN to play The Penguin, and hypnotic machine-gun umbrellas are way more classic badass than a dude with big arms inhaling steroids from a mask. I digress…

The streets of Gotham City may be safe from Batman’s old avian villain, but it appears The Penguin has taken up home in a new home this summer… in Vancouver.

Enter, Evil Ebenezer, a Vancouver rapper who taken it upon himself to reinvent himself in the guise of The Penguin for the release of a themed five song EP. Every second of this EP’s five tracks is based on the Batman villain The Penguin, with lyrics and choice samples telling the story of the waddling Oswald Cobblepot. On paper, the concept of this recording is bizarre. When you hear it, it’s every bit as ridiculous as you could imagine.

Evil Ebenezer has clearly had a lot of fun making this EP, but after you stop laughing at the gags, you begin to appreciate this record for its clever rhymes and dark, chainsaw-ripping grit. And like the Penguin, Evil Ebenezer has is own posse of henchman to help amp up the sinister factor, with guests Snak The Ripper, Young Sin and Touch. Production is by Nato.

A hip hop album based on a comic book villain? Sounds bizarre at first — and it is ridiculous — but after a while it all makes sense… A rap recording based on a power-hungry character who cruises around in a big car, operates in the underground, and surrounds himself with guns and beautiful women, to remind others of his monetary power and own sense of importance? The worlds of comic book fiction and hip hop stereotyping merge together wonderfully. Inspired.

© Brian Banks, Editor, Music Vice

Internet links: Evil Ebenezer

Evil Ebenezer – “Half Bird, Half Man”:

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Brian Banks

Editor and Founder, Music Vice Magazine. Writer. Photographer. Poet. From Scotland. Not Ireland. Proudly based in Toronto, Canada. Rock N' Roll Don't Pay The Rent... 

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