Freehand Formula (Self-released)

Archetype 

Freehand Formula (Self-released)

Archetype's highly anticipated full-length debut begins with a banger titled "Breathe and Release," a longtime component of the Lawrence trio's stage oeuvre that provides a mini-showcase for its skills. Built on a foundation of burbling bass and jutting beats, courtesy of producer and occasional MC Jeremy "Nezbeat" Nesbitt, "Breathe" is the first chapter in Archetype's book of noncommercial philosophy. Nezbeat's feverish nasal flow (I'm sold out with an OU/Never stood out like those who/Go to radio tunes that vanish like some tofu/On a vegan plate) proves a perfect foil for Isaac "ID" Diehl's no-nonsense orations.

ID has always been Archetype's lyrical superstar, an MC with an intricate and verbose style that remains the group's center of gravity. Never one to stoop to chest-thumping boasts or other thuggish gestures, ID sticks to the less-traveled scholarly path, dropping Yoda-like pearls of wisdom at every turn. The towers that fall down don't always stand highest/And even the brightest star can be dying out before the night ends/So keep the fires in/The most inspirin'/And you can be champion among mighty men/Or you can just be one to watch the world roll by again/Another broken automan, he proclaims on "Reel Roll By" as Nezbeat's moody production lolls in the background. "Move" takes a similarly laid-back approach but quickly morphs into a warp-speed drum 'n' bass workout that finds ID masterfully switching cadences to keep up. In addition to a wealth of fresh material, Freehand reintroduces several head-bobbing classics ("Broadcast," "Signal") that indicate Archetype's staunch commitment to the underground might find a larger following after all.

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