Street Sweeper Social Club

Street Sweeper Social Club

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    5
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When Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello and the Coup's Boots Riley started making plans to put together a group, even rap-rock haters had to stand up and take notice. However, anyone expecting a revolutionary record was probably surprised by the outcome. Morello and Riley are both well-established as politically charged left-wing activists, but most of Street Sweeper Social Club's militant content is overshadowed by rallying party rhymes. The bulk of the record feels like it was made to be performed at live festivals, presumably for a drunken audience to hold up their lighters and shout along to the choruses: "Let's hit 'em with the Mega blast!," "Shock! Shock! We gon shock you again!," and "(Yee!) Alright muthafuckas! (Coo coo!) We gonna fight, muthafuckas!" The combination of funk-metal and rap sounds very '90s, so Ice-T's Body Count, or even the Judgment Night soundtrack, might come to mind. More than anything though, Street Sweeper sounds like Rage Against the Machine Part 2 with a more laid-back vocalist. Boots is a better rapper than he shows, and while he keeps pace, his vocals just don't seem as suited for anthemic stomps as the screams of Zack de la Rocha did. If you can try to forget Rage, it's not all bad. The heavy chugging rhythms laid by Galactic drummer Stanton Moore and Morello (who plays bass as well as guitar) are powerful, and when things don't sound forced, the rhymes are fit for fist-pumping. If Morello and Riley hadn't been involved in such great projects before, this would be acceptable, but in hindsight, it doesn't really live up to their past accomplishments.

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