After meeting in 2004 on the Warped Tour, alt-rappers Astronautalis and P.O.S. became thick as thieves, recording hidden collaborations on each other’s albums and sowing the seeds of Four Fists. A project that first emerged in 2013 with the release of ‘MMMMMHMMMMM’ and ‘Please Go’, Four Fists was sadly quiet for years with solo albums, other projects and various “life shit” getting in the way of the elusive debut album.
Five years and a maelstrom of events later, and ‘6666’ is finally here, released through the brilliant Doomtree Records alongside a joyous assortment of goodies (yes, of course we bought the Collector’s Edition). Less of a side-project and more of a fully-fledge band, largely thanks to the obvious creative connection between Astronautalis and P.O.S., ‘6666’ has arrived as a unique levitation of sorts, far from the monster we expected, and all the better for it.
Trading off verses throughout, crafting their sounds in both isolation and brilliant harmony, rapping hard and fast about maturation, socio-political status, blossoming activism, and touching obsession with the legendary Joe Strummer. Somewhat surprisingly, ‘6666’ comes across as an album of discovery and exploration, a way for the artists to unleash the pent up frustrations of life in a vessel that can be kept separate from their solo work. Songs like ‘Fjorties’ is a class example of this, as is ‘Unjinxed’, a deft track that tackles feelings of alienation in a brave new way.
Just as P.O.S. and Astronautalis have two distinct styles, ‘6666’ has two distinct sides, bringing the contemplative atmosphere to life through their slower, softer beats, while boosting the punk spirit and hard hitting lines in their more aggressive and visceral pieces. Tracks like ‘Sid Vishis’ are powerful and precise, pushing the limits of the two rappers sound in the very best of ways, while ‘Dork Court’, one of the previously released singles is an unashamedly fun anthem that lightens the mood and demands to be heard. Opening epic ‘Nobody’s Biz’ really sets the tone for the album, and if you hear nothing else from the album, make sure it’s that track.
Abstract on occasions, but always free-flowing and never lacking in charm or creative appeal, ‘6666’ has a wonderful habit of veering from hard-hitting to one liners to playful jabs in an instance. It’s an album that never rests, never falls stagnant, and never apologies for any of its parts. It’s a fantastic, flawed, and fierce, perfectly delivering the two rappers outlook - “The sun ain’t set on me yet, I ain’t got much, but I’m not alone. Inside each life there are four fists, we are made whole through our broken jaws.”