Punky folk-rock with a political bent, along the lines of Ani DiFranco, mixed with underground hip-hop beats, Stephan Smith isn't quite unique enough to be called a distinct voice in the musical wilderness, but his second record shows a lot of promise. Opening your album with a title track decrying the consolidation of power in the music industry, naming names in the process, is a moderately impressive act, but making the song sound like Phil Ochs as backed by the Roots is a conceit of enjoyably perverse genius. Not all the rest of the album is up to that standard, although "You Ain't a Cowboy" uses the inspired tack of having Smith rap the entire corrosive lyric in his best Dubya impersonation, using the president's flat affect and nasal whine to excoriating effect. Tracks like these overshadow somewhat weaker efforts like "In the Air," but overall Slash and Burn is a record of enormous power.
AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason