Canadian collective Styx City Cult have had an amazing year so far, and with the release of Dag’s two track EP When the Ice Melts they have another high-quality product in their collective discography. Check the project out here.

Dag not only raps with immense confidence, stringing verses into hooks so seamlessly that his tracks as a whole sound like inner monologues, but he is also a fantastic storyteller. On ‘Break the Cycle’, he spins a grim, incredibly graphic tale of the cyclical nature of abuse. Horribly vivid, the song’s lyrics are uncomfortable listening and yet also captivating in a way unparalleled by much of the underground music on my radar. Drinkbleachh’s boom-bap production is icy and futuristic, reminding me of something that El-P would have contributed to The Cold Vein in many ways. As my proper introduction to Dag’s music, this song couldn’t be more perfect.

Drugs First’ is equally dark in tone, the scathing tone in the rapper’s voice is palpable. Musically however this is a more melodic track with a fairly catchy hook. The beat is slick and groovy, featuring crunchy percussion flanked by faint guitars that contribute considerably to the emotional depth of the song. Both tracks are hard to talk about from a lyrical standpoint because their tales are so extremely specific and directed, they should be heard in full in order to properly analyse their messages and the morals that they provide. This EP is excellent preparation for the Styx City Cult album dropping fairly soon, so make sure you check out these songs for a taste of the group’s gritty, frosty sound.

– Chris (@108mics)

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