Bolt Upright

Red Carpet Sindrome

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Bolt Upright lays down some serious groove-laden, occasionally mechanical rap-metal on this, the band's 1999 major-label debut for Sony's alternative 550 imprint. Vocalist Toriono Mayek leads his bandmates (Damian Valentine on bass, David Aguirre on guitar, Jeff "Heff Holter on drums, and DJ Johnny Love on turntables) through some raucous post-Rage Against the Machine hard-hop. Plenty of funky riffs ("International") and all-out metal grinds ("The Next Level") are accompanied by party scene audio inserts and group choruses that give Red Carpet Sindrome a vibe that's both sinister and feel-good in its concept and delivery. Standouts include "The Half of It" and "See Right Through You," but these cuts only shine a tiny bit brighter than the rest of this incredibly diverse and consistent recording. Accomplished and well-arranged, Red Carpet Sindrome is a fine debut from this little-known but talented Los Angeles outfit.

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