The cinematics for "Fake Surfers," the first video from noir-rap originators Zilla Rocca & The Shadowboxers' sophomore album No Vacation for Murder, are an unsettling, infrared fever dream: a montage of flashing lights, barnyard animal depravity, and shifty contraband exchanges. Yet you wouldn't be to blame if distracted by Zilla's beard, a marvel in and of itself, thick enough to make a Hassidic Rabbi drown in holy water.
Fake surfers are posers, charlatan shells of moral human beings. The chronic paranoia and dread when dealing with them can gnaw at your psyche, which is why our narrator is "losing sleep first, and sleeping second." If Zilla is restless and impatient, it's because every financial opportunity is plagued by "more dead-ends and no loopholes." It's a kiss-off delivered at sub-zero temperature, booming throughout the smoke-screened alleys of Philly's underbelly.
Blurry Drones, the beatsmith behind the boards of the Shadowboxers' 2009 debut The Slow Twilight, is more than just the Watson to Zilla's Sherlock. He summons a bleak instrumental of javelin guitars and swampy bass drum thumps. The hooks and replay value are there, but they demand and are worth your patience. A casual viewing of "Fake Surfers" is like riding a rip curl urged by an unruly ocean breeze--focus on it or wipe out.
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