Brougham

Le Cock Sportif

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Based on all the surface trappings, it would be easy to hate Brougham's debut album -- it's not-so-subtly titled Le Cock Sportif, it features Vivid Video porn actress Raylene on the cover (and in tandem with a colleague in the booklet), and it contains a hybrid of rap and hard rock, all of which suggest that it's just another dumb-assed, testosterone-ridden Limp Bizkit rip-off. Yet, surprisingly, that's not really the case. Brougham isn't constantly obsessed with proving how much ass they kick, and, thus, they don't rely exclusively on metallic guitars, which makes for a more sonically varied and interesting album. Some of the non-guitar-oriented tracks -- like "7th Grade" and "Main Chick," both of which would make excellent singles -- have an upbeat, sunny feel reminiscent of sample-based hits by Smash Mouth or L.E.N., albeit with a hardcore rap edge. Compared to much of the rap-rock genre, Luke Oakson (aka Luke Sick) has pretty impressive MC skills; his rhymes are playful and his flow fairly tight. There are still a fair amount of boys-will-be-boys antics -- the rhymes always come back to booze, pot, and sex -- but overall, the record is refreshingly free of the inarticulate angst and misogyny that some similar acts rely on to hook the male Woodstock '99 crowd. Instead, Le Cock Sportif is an exuberant party record that manages to keep its hard attitude while welcoming all comers. It's a rare feat in the rap/rock/metal fusion world, and hopefully it won't be an isolated one.

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