Mean, violent and nasty

Body Count’s debut was the most potent protest album of its generation, a violent and uncompromising portrait of the struggle and frustration of the downtrodden and the disenfranchised.

Since then their material has been fairly solid, if hit-and-miss, until Manslaughter proved they still had something valid to say.

Bloodlust blows that album right out of the water. This is a mean, violent and nasty album, one that draws from the current political zeitgeist like nothing BC has done since 1992. Then, Ice-T was the keen and astute social commentator who married sardonic humour with rage to create the likes of ‘There Goes the Neighborhood’ and ‘Momma’s Gotta Die Tonight’. Twenty five years later and there isn’t much humour left: things are no different unless they’re worse than ever. Through the screaming sirens and blaring public announcements of the opening cut, Body Count draws a grim picture of a very probable American future, with Dave Mustaine dropping in to stamp his authority on it with a blazing lead. The hood life tracks ‘The Ski Mask Way’ and ‘Black Hoodie’ hold a seriously malicious vibe and ‘This is Why We Ride’ has a sinister bouncing groove augmented with machine-gun riffing and screaming police sirens. ‘All Love Lost’ falls flat as little more than three minutes of spiteful dissing but the Slayer-like ‘Walk With Me…’ is a genuine highlight as Ice trades off with Randy Blythe in a show-stopping cameo.

The pinnacle of Bloodlust is, however, ‘No Lives Matter’, a track that calls out racist rhetoric for what is really is: a tool for the subjugation of the masses. This is a rallying cry that vilifies the ideological paradigms of the Trump era, an appeal to fight the powers that make people hate each other for their own political gain. ‘No Lives Matter’ is the essence of Body Count, the distillation of Ice-T’s thirty years of colour-blind activism, and this album is the best thing they’ve done since the first one.

1. Civil War
2. The Ski Mask Way
3. This is Why We Ride
4. All Love is Lost
5. Raining Blood/Postmortem
6. God, Please Believe Me
7. Walk With Me…
8. Here I Go Again
9. No Lives Matter
10. Bloodlust
11. Black Hoodie