Published Nov 15, 2014For their third album as Flight Distance, Ottawa rappers Bender and Patience preach the gospel of the High Priests of Low-Life while third member DJ Calkuta interprets with his hands. Bender is best known as a King of the Dot battle rap champion, but High Priests is much more than braggadocio and punch lines; "Walther PPK" is still a great opening track, though. The lyrics throughout the album are clever, and the songs are often more conceptual. An album highlight, "Gold Cartridge To Purple Tape," is a nostalgic song revealing the duo's early influences and their come-up in the scene, while "Imaginary Friends" is full of cautionary tales of fantastical characters and "Briefcases" attempts to solve the unanswered mystery of Pulp Fiction: "Marcellus Wallace never had a soul, what's in that briefcase?"
Bender and Patience also receive quality vocal contributions from regular contributor Escrol, fellow Ottawa artists Buck N' Nice and Zeebot and Toronto underground legends D-Sisive and Theology3; singer Whitney Delion is almost a fourth member of Flight Distance, providing the hook on two tracks and completely taking over "Bottom of the Ocean" for a very trip-hoppy track. The latter stands out on the album, but it acts as a short palate cleanser prior to the second half of the album. Aside from that song, the album has a throwback boom bap vibe with a few forays into the futuristic. Old heads will dig High Priests of Low-Life, but young cats should also find plenty to pull them in, too. (Independent)