The hip-hop-meets-rock hybrid so poorly milked during the earlier part of the decade has, for the most part, hobbled away from the spotlight, all its gimmicks long expired. And yet, upstate New York's Gym Class Heroes have managed to grow in popularity.
Their relatively meek take on hip-hop, punk and soul, all well within a pop framework, works because it comes off naturally. On their latest, they sound more like genre bridge-builders than pillagers. The Quilt's not a deep or engrossing record, but its appeal is its party-tune factor; songs like Cookie Jar and Peace Sign/Index Down are made for dancing. Though he stays within his comfort zone, frontman Travis McCoy is a gifted MC who usually upstages the rest of the band members, who sound like hired hands. And Daryl Hall sings on a track. That's gotta be worth something.
Gym Class Heroes join the Roots at Sound Academy Sunday (October 26).