Miami Kills is the sophomore LP by the genre veteran Action Jackson who brings back his tight production skills and great storytelling on this record.
What might seem a paint-by-numbers synthwave affair, is actually a very solid entry in the cop revenge sub-(sub?)-genre.
The beats are mostly classic with not too much deviation from the form but we forgive that as Action Jackson firmly steers the wheel moving down the corrupt cops of Miami.
It’s like a less demented version of the Hotline Miami soundtrack, with clear focus on the range between outrun to darkwave.
ONE WAY OUT
This sounds like the opening title screen track if this ever became a 16-bit game. The snares are sharp and you can feel the bass in your plexus.
Outrunesque and frantic, you can’t help but to imagine a lot of casualties and smoking barrels, screeching tires and bullet wounds wherever Action Jackson makes his way.
Evocative of Jan Hammer, this track screams shady deals or some kind of betrayal.
Whoever is on Jackson’s Dead List beware, your days are numbered. This track puts you in the shoes of our renegade cop as he preps for the pending showdown(s).
The flow on this one is mad, really has a lot going on but never seems overproduced. Gives almost an upbeat feel to massacre dished out by Jackson.
The only track I didn’t really feel that much. It’s like a good interlude between the first and the second part of the album.
MACHINE GUY NERD
This is track with one of my favorite lead riffs on the album. It has a slightly sexy feel and could easily just as well be played during a sweaty interlude Jackson has along the way.
Untypical in structure and with unexpected touches – and because of that slightly without momentum - Power powers through to…
The definite standout track, makes the pulsating rubbery bass sound fresh again. Transports you to a Miami disco circa 1984 and allows you to feel the lust and danger lurking in there.
Every cop revenge B-movie needs a closing credits theme and this fulfills that nicely. At almost 6 minutes, it’s just tad overlong but provides some quite sleek, energetic moments especially towards the end.
All in all, Action Jackson confirms his status of one of the lesser touted, but deserving synthwave stalwarts. Miami Kill provides an octane ride that will especially bring pleasure to those seeking a classic, synth wave sound and high production values.
Verdict: 3,5/5 stars