Kanye West, Young Jeezy, André 3000 ... Family Force 5? Sure, it's a stretch, but ATL's signature crunk-rock group is back with The Third, officially reclaiming their hip-hop-rock crown -- though more in the style of Lil Jon and less Linkin Park.
If you can get past the fact that the members are named such things as "Crouton," "Fatty" and of course, "Soul Glow Activatur," there's really a lot to like on the group's new album, which emphasizes the band's commitment to upbeat, in-your-face madness.
Opening things up is "Can You Feel It," which crashes in with an extra-serving of Southern flavor. What FF5 does best is mixing hard, pounding instrumentation with hip-hop beats and borderline screaming rap vocals. "Wobble," by comparison, walks you through a knee-knocking dance that feels like The Lonely Island covering a Ying Yang Twins song.
The heart of the album, however, is "Cray Button" featuring Lecrae. Yes, the title is absurd, however this track is essentially the Cliff Notes version of FF5's career -- a mixture of tongue-in-cheek jokes, electronic beats and a southern-rock backbone.
As a whole, The Third is a strong release from a band with a history of crazy antics and a musical presence that'll leave you singing, "I wonder what happens if it hit the cray button? I guarantee the whole place starts jumping," long into the night.