Check Your People

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It's the subtle things that distinguish Downset from its many rap-metal peers: the fact that hardcore punk plays a greater role in the band's music than heavy metal, that the bandmembers are better riff writers and arrangers than some of the genre's more popular groups, or that Rey Oropeza writes ambitious lyrics, which come across like a less dogmatic Rage Against the Machine. The band's third album, Check Your People, isn't much of a departure from its previous work, but the CD continues to showcase all of the above traits, and it maintains a tight musical and lyrical focus throughout. Oropeza makes the personal political and vice versa, delivering powerful statements about social ills with an almost evangelical zeal. To the uninitiated, the music might seem a little predictable after a while (most of the choruses seem to start with a cathartic roar), but it's certainly on the high end of the rap-metal spectrum.

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