Bring Down Babylon (self-released)
This young Cleveland act has been around for a couple of years now and has slowly started to raise eyebrows. It finished in second place at the 2012 Tri-C High School Rock Off and has opened for acts such as Flobots and iPhonic. Now, it's finally delivered its debut. The band describes itself as "progressive rap," and it has plenty in common with current hip-hop sensation Macklemore & Lewis. The atmospheric album opener "Earthless" features some deft rhymes, but it also includes a lengthy instrumental interlude and a shimmering guitar solo that shows just how well these guys can actually play their instruments. The title track is a bit bluesier and even delves a bit into psychedelic rock. All in all, a solid effort. Now, the guys just need to start playing around town a little more frequently.