The Saturday Knights, ‘Mingle’ (Light in the Attic)
Rap-rock never got much respect, and for good reason: Most fusionists exploited the most obvious clichés of both worlds. This multiracial trio’s debut full-length starts out with exactly the right mix on “45” — hook-heavy, Pharcyde-inspired lyrics mesh with snaky live guitars, turntable scratches, and booming drums. But ultimately, the energetic group seems so hell-bent on not repeating itself that things get disjointed: “Mutt” is straight-up garage rock, while “Private School Girl” takes things too far toward jokey pop rap. A few tracks hit bull’s-eyes, but as a whole, Mingle sounds more like a scattered compilation of ideas than a new paradigm.