This is the 24th full-length album from Fresno veteran Planet Asia. Emerging as 1/2 of the duo Cali Agents, he would also go on to have a very successful solo career & has made a lengthy yet consistent discography for himself. This includes The Grand Opening, The Medicine, the DJ Muggs-produced Pain Language, Abrasions, the Apollo Brown-produced Anchovies backed by Mello Music Group, the 38 Spesh-produced Trust the Chain, the Evidence-produced Rule of 3rds & more recently the Snowgoons-produced U.Z.I. (Universal Zeitgeist Intelligence) only last fall. So when it was announced that Apollo Brown was returning so he & Planet Asia could drop a sequel to Anchovies, that was more enough to go into Sardines with high anticipation.
After the “Bird Food” intro, the first song “Get the Dough Off” really opens the album with a drumless beat likening himself to a product pusher whereas “Panama Sun” featuring Detroit battle rap veteran Marv Won finds both MCs joining forces over a more sample-based instrumental admitting that their grind is deep rooted to the point where they can’t turn away. “Stones” continues to strip the drums once more in favor of strings making it clear he’s still in office like Castro that is until “Fly Anomalies” shoots for a darker approach cautioning not to be confused by the monsters.
The General Monks link up on “Wizardry” jumping on top of a flute so that both members Planet Asia & TriState of the Durag Dynasty can compare themselves to wizards with both of their pens just before “Jungle Juice” brings back the soul dropping some late night rugged shit. “Wide Awake” cooks up a more smoother beat painting exotic portraits of the 3rd dimension leading into the organ-laced “Acid Rain” featuring Sick Jacken asking who else is bringing they type of pain that they do.
“Peas & Onions” weaves a bare sample into time fold reminding that it’s self explanatory & that we all know what does while “Broad Dayin’” talks about how the game is fake like these Hollywood bitches’ upper-lips ties into more heavy sampling within the production. “’88 S-Curl” featuring another Detroit vet Ty Farris brings back the drumless vibes displaying a back-&-forth chemistry with each other while “Bazookas” shoots for a creepier atmosphere boasting that he’s firing missiles in the studio. “Can You Believe It?” ends the album with some jazzy undertones pledging allegiance to his region of humble beginnings.
If Planet Asia & Apollo Brown were looking to do Sardines better than when they put out Anchovies together 6 years ago, they could very well have just done that here. Apollo expands on the drumless/chipmunk soul sounds of the predecessor with some jazzier undertones this time around & the lyricism from not just King Medallions but even the 4 featured all go harder than galvanized steel.