RoadKillOvercoat (Epitaph)

Busdriver's messages are easily relatable — once you decipher his vocal delivery. When the Los Angeles-based rapper presents his most rapid-fire rhyming, as he does on album opener "Casting Agent and Cowgirls," only those attuned to the flow of linguistic innovators like E-40 (the Bay Area rapper with the tongue-twisting jawbonics) can decipher the lessons at hand. Like 40, Busdriver has a penchant for underused or otherwise creative words, which creates confusion. But where his aural innovation could alienate some ears, taking the time to comprehend Busdriver is a rewarding venture.


Busdriver performs on Tuesday, Jan. 30, at the Great American Music Hall at 8 p.m. Admission is $15; call 885-0750 or visit www.gamh.com for more info.

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Despite his language, Busdriver often has the average Joe in mind. When he sings "Recreational paranoia is the sport of now, so kill your employer" ("Kill Your Employer") over a bed of frenetic videogame bleeps, his postal rage is more of a common denominator than your typical tales of street thuggery. His metaphors for "the man" are also considerably smarter than what's typically on mainstream radio, which would never play a track as intellectually challenging as "The Troglodyte Wins." Subject matter isn't Busdriver's only departure from mainstream hip hop; RoadKillOvercoat embraces a soundtrack that blinks from techno to punk without losing continuity. It's a pleasantly uncommon effort that reveals more layers and flavors with repeated listens. Tamara Palmer

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