Backed by industry vet Terry McGill’s Dallas-based Major Money Entertainment, Psy2ko and Mic L. Moodswing’s “Blood is Thicker Than Water” is the Dallas duo’s first album.The 1-2 combination of a 21-year-old studio wizard (Psy2ko) from Oak Cliff, and his 24-year-old first cousin (Moodswing), a Northwestern University-schooled aspiring screenwriter and director is resounding c+ for effort, with definitive potential.

Psy2ko and Moodswing have made the right connections to get noticed: The disc includes a guest spot by Nayrok (the younger sister of Erykah Badu), and some of the album was recorded at Stankonia Studios in Atlanta. Perhaps by osmosis, the result bears a bit of the Dungeon Family’s stamp,the Dirty South stomp particular to OutKast (who owns Stankonia). Psy2ko and Mic L. Moodswing drop a few bombs over Baghdad on songs such as “Caliente,” with its Spanglish spank. Or, even better, “Groove With You,” bouncing along on a rubber jackhammer beat, Temptations-sing! hook and “I like girls with no morals/Nasty girls, yes, plural” mission statement. “Drought” rocks the piano riff from Tears for Fears’ “Shout,” as well as taking the chorus (sort of).

Thankfully, save for the unnecessary skits, the bulk of “Blood is Thicker Than Water” is more killer than filler, even when Psy2ko and Moodswing become redundant in some of their beats choices. When they repeat themselves: “Superman” shows up twice, and both are nice tracks in their own way. With its church-bell clatter and synth squeals, the so-called “da original mix” is full of interesting ideas, especially the Afrobeat percussion that opens the door on the song only to slam it shut later. The remix, then, is the rare redo that turns out less interesting musically, yet it’s worth it for Nayrok’s cameo. The track is a throwback to Biggie’s “One More Chance“, but isn’t as blatant of a rip as the current song by Ashanti of Murder Inc. fame. That said, “Blood is Thicker Than Water” is a strong debut, and thanks to the cousins’ preference for OutKast’s absinthe, there is great overhead to improve and develop their own sound from a great core.