Elite Thermo - "College EP Vol. 1" Review
Elite Thermo is well on his way to becoming an underground legend in his own right, a sign made as evident as ever with the release of his new EP ‘College Ep Vol.1’. The project is filled to the brim, seeping with a nostalgic, retrospective, and yet hungry atmosphere. Don't miss this exclusive Music Mondays breakdown of a one of a kind project.
The topic of artists being ‘clones’ of other artists is quite nuanced and despite the real harm, and under appreciation the phenomenon can cause originators- such as st47ic for instance, to endure, it simultaneously tends to be an integral part of many artists' blow ups- particularly pertaining to those artists who spend a lot of time bubbling in the underground. Still though, I love when I find an artist who isn’t scared to show their influence, and is equally confident pulling something unique out of their influences, and creating something new with them.
Elite Thermo is well on his way to becoming an underground legend in his own right, a sign made as evident as ever with the release of his new EP ‘College Ep Vol.1’. The project is filled to the brim, seeping with a nostalgic, retrospective, and yet hungry atmosphere. Opening with ‘How Could I’ featuring production from Siahprice and Sharpboi, the latter of which is known for his jerk revivalist-esque production heard on a number of artists' projects, and songs. The opening track absolutely harbors Sharpboi’s energy in a way that I think works perfectly with Thermo’s voice and flows. This song is instantly catchy with lines like
‘I put years into this shit how could I give it up,
you ain’t mess with me so now you gotta watch me go up,
I don’t even drink but now you gotta watch me pour up’
Something I admire most about this album is how each track sounds wildly different from the last, but it maintains the same atmosphere throughout; an aspect made clearest over the next three tracks, ‘Locked In (Siahprice)’, ‘Back Up’, and ‘Wordplay (Ilyjosh)’ respectively. These tracks, especially ‘Locked Up’ , feel reminiscent of great Tenkay songs, specifically with the effortless manner in which Thermo glides over these instrumentals. ‘Back Up’ is notably slower than the previous track, it actually almost reminds me of crooners like Don Toliver at one point, with Thermo proving his vocal abilities, when he goes into that higher register, singing heartfelt lyrics
‘didn’t matter then, now the time’s tickin’, and the plot twistin'
you tryna find my heart but a piece missin’, I be sitting in the dark cause the light within'
From here we get ‘Rule (night66)’, where we are blessed with a beat that would fit perfectly next to any song from xaviersobased’s ‘and when’ tape. This song feels like an interlude of sorts, as well as serving as a list of advice to aspiring artists. Despite the EP having only one song breaking the 2 minute mark, the final two tracks are what makes ‘Rule’ feel like an interlude to me. For one, ‘Heavy Metal !’ leans completely into the drowned-out, distortion reliant quality of much of st47ic’s early music. The way Thermo raps over this beat with more enthusiasm than any of the other tracks, coupled with the heavy bass, brings a smile to my face every time I hear this track. It’s at this point we are brought to the closing song, ‘Destiny’ the only song where I might have wished it was longer, and only because it is so well mixed, so catchy and with meaningful lyrics that while it’s on I simply can’t get enough of it.
Elite Thermo blends many well-known, established sounds that have proliferated throughout the underground, in a fresh way that feels nothing less than authentic.
Follow Elite Thermo:
Written By Em Bishoff: twitter.com/emofc_