Norse Law

The Voyage: Raids and Rhymes ([email protected])

Churchbuilder, opening for Jonathan Richman Beachland Ballroom, 15711 Waterloo Road Thursday, January 21

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216-383-1124

Eric the Red couldn't be happy about the narrow-minded violence of the musicians carrying on in his name. After all, the storied raids by Red and his Viking brethren were as much about scoring chicks as wreaking havoc. But centuries after the Vikings have faded into history, what acts pay tribute to the Nords? Long-haired metal dullards like Unleashed and Running Wild, all decked out in goofy leather and chains, with nary a female in sight. C'mon, even wussy emo dudes have a better chance of getting laid than those guys.

Attempting to reverse this trend is Norse Law, a Kent rhyming duo featuring MCs Leif Rhymerson and Valhalla Ice, who are out to endear Scandinavian freebooters to the ladies. "Have you ever seen a Viking get down? Slammin' and jammin' to the new sweet sound," Ice asks at the onset of Raids and Rhymes. If you haven't, it's not pretty. Valhalla has a gravelly delivery akin to that of Clutch's Neil Fallon. His partner Leif can't rap at all, and often ends up sounding like Corky from Life Goes On. It all works to put Norse Law in the same category as rap cutups the Hawd Gankstuh Rappuh MCs Wit Gats.

Is it funny? Yeah. Hearing Valhalla chant "Go Viking, go Viking, go!" is pretty riotous, as is the duo's cover of Vanilla Ice's "Crazy, Sexy, Rhymes" and penchant for busting out hot-ass Yngwie Malmsteen leads from out of nowhere. Still, from Paul Barman to the Insane Clown Posse to Eminem, we've seen white boys don the dunce cap in hip-hop from the get-go. The only difference is that now there are horns on it.

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