Major Lazer, 'Guns Don’t Kill People...Lazers Do' (Downtown)

Critical Mass
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by Barry Walters

M.I.A. collaborators Diplo and Switch recorded this futuristic dancehall set in Jamaica with cameos both local (Ms. Thing) and international (Santigold), and the results are packaged as the debut of cartoonish, laser-limbed vampire killer Major Lazer. The shotgun rhythms, spaghetti western guitars, and dubstep explosions intertwine with lover's rock, roots reggae, and other island styles to impressively evoke the pair's genre-splicing DJ sets. But the album's "killer" conceit seems less playful when you know guest vocalists T.O.K., Vybz Kartel, Mr. Vegas, and Mr. Evil have recorded tracks elsewhere that advocate extreme anti-gay violence.

Watch: Major Lazer, "Hold the Line"

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