Saturday, September 25, 2010

Album Review : Ghetto Blaster EP - Street Sweeper Social Club 9*

Sometimes the reviews just write themselves, there is only one question you really need to ask yourself when considering purchasing this SSSC EP, and that is, "Do I like Rage Against The Machine ?"

Answer = yes - buy the album
Answer = no - don't buy the album

Street Sweeper Social Club with singer/rapper Boots Riley is RATM amped to the max, simple but highly effective drums, choppy muscular guiter work from Tom Morello and rabble rousing lyrics with equal amounts of intelligence and motor mouthed bad language.

The EP features 4 songs, a remixed version of Promenade from their self titled debut LP, and two covers, LL Cool J's Mama Said Knock You Out and MIA's Paper Planes.

Now, I loved RATM, but I have to admit that Zack's vocals were sometimes on the whiny side, and the band struggled to maintain a high level of song crafting throughout an album, you know, a few really great tunes, and then some fillers.  SSSC though seem to be taking the big sound that underpinned RATM, and then adding Boots Riley's richer, stronger vocals, it's a heady and powerful mix.

Killing In The Name Of is always going to be the song that most people associate with RATM, and it's possible that it has become a millstone for Morello to wear when writing songs with other projects like Audioslave.  He might just have exorcised this particular ghost with the The New Fuck You, macho chords build into Riley's opening rap and then the hammer down call and response chorus.  Scars (Hold That Pose) has a trickling guitar line under Riley's vocals then a thundering riff under the melodic chorus, Everythang and title track Ghetto Blaster have echoes of Public Enemy, but with massive guitars and thundering drums.

The Ghetto Blaster EP is an absolute tour de force, heavy, clever and easily the best thing Morello has done without De La Rocha.

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