Like the title (Grand Theft Audio isn't really an original quip: it's been used as a name by rock bands, a rap mixtape series, even used as a tag line on a track called "Car Chase" from last year's awesome self-titled Metal Chocolates debut), there are moments on the new album by Grimeshine and new collaborator Ellan that borrow too heavily from outside sources.
As you may remember, Grimeshine is a local MPC wiz who's got a couple of excellent solo releases under his belt (most recently rip.mpc). The man credited with GTA's mixing/mastering and songwriting is a new-to-us artist named Elan (full name: Elan Wright) who contributes rapped verses and sung vocals in addition to his behind-the-scenes work. Elan sounds eerily like Tacoma MC Gazmo to me (a good thing), and he proves to be a formidable lyricist, especially on tracks like opener "Symphony", "Seattle Streetlights", and "Reminders". When his songwriting turns overly-derivative though, he gets himself into trouble, as when "Make It Take It" basically turns into sub par reprise of an Eve song. Grimeshine also falls into this trap: "Everlasting Light" is just a couple cuts-and-pastes away from The Black Keys' original, and although the song begs to be sampled, this version attempts to piggyback too much on the first's success.
The remaining songs, most of which feature a guest MC, have turned out better, with Grimeshine applying his East Coast beats nicely, and Elan doing effective work. The fact is: There are many good moments on Grand Theft Audio; unfortunately though, it's the down points that stand out in the memory.