"These hours become years," Wormwood raps on the introductory track of Record Years, and the hour or so that follows proves he has spent his time well. Record Years is a leap forward from 2013's Forms, both in lyrics and in production. The Missoula emcee sounds more confident, and his beats are moody and southern, like a rainy afternoon Clams Casino. Wormwood has produced a daring but disciplined mixtape that makes it evident he has been working on his craft.
It's also evident that he has been listening to A$AP Mob. One of the best things about local emcees is they don't need to fit into national scenes, but we're all listeners. Wormwood seems to have taken the most interesting elements of the '90s revival in hip-hop—including triplet-based cadences—and run them through his own melancholy, muted style. The result is a lively but strikingly intimate series of tracks, as if he were rapping along with his headphones and didn't know we were walking behind him. It's not perfect, fortunately. But it's so much better than his last outing and so recognizably in the same vein that it makes me want to hear more.