Turn it up and enjoy the ride

Twenty two years ago, Ice-T emerged from an already impressive and building rap career to release a metal record that incorporated an intriguing mix of nu-metal, thrash, punk and rock.

It wasn’t the only point of difference on the self-titled album of 1992. For the first time in the history of music, metal fans who previously held no regard for rap music or the artists were listening to the world of gangsters, Bloods and Crips, LAPD hatred and all things South Central Los Angeles. It was in-your-face, it was controversial, occasionally tongue in cheek and catchy as hell.

Despite the death of three original members since that debut, a heavy TV schedule for Ice-T with ongoing crime drama Law and Order SVU and the fact that Body Count’s last three albums were bordering on being used as drink coasters, they have managed to suit up, recruit, and head back to the studio for another crack. You’ll be glad they did. Manslaughter is brutal. Laced with more frenetic pace and forceful Ice-T diatribes, the album is everything the band should have been doing since their debut. Gone are the skits and Ice’s over the top rants about cops and women. The music does all the talking and more than makes up for the profanity and misogyny in song. Ice may have 99 problems, but talking about bitches isn’t one (see their cover of this song on this album…. wow). Still, there’s more ‘fucks’ and ‘bitches’ and ‘hoes’ in here than on your average metal album.

‘Talk Shit, Get Shot’ could come from the debut with its similar ‘take no prisoners’ vibe, rocking out with Ice lapping up the thrash groove. ‘Pray for Death’ continues Ice-T’s reputation for controversial lyrical content, keeping his victim alive to inflict the most pain possible. ‘Back to Rehab’ and ‘Manslaughter’ continue the onslaught. It’s clear this album only works in fifth gear and it’s all the better for it.

The Suicidal Tendencies cover ‘Institutionalized’ is actually very good with the updated 2014 lyrics. It may even be better than the original. Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta features on ‘Pop Bubble’, a stab at all that’s wrong in the materialistic world we live in and artists who sell out. ‘Bitch in the Pit’ recognises and challenges all females entering the Body Count mosh pits of the future.

They won’t win any awards here for technical mastery but Manslaughter is a fun listen. Lyrically confronting, sometimes humorous but always energetic, Body Count have delivered the surprise of 2014. Turn it up loud and just enjoy the ride.

1. Talk Shit, Get Shot
2. Pray for Death
3. 99 Problems BC
4. Back to Rehab
5. Manslaughter
6. Get a Job
7. Institutionalized 2014
8. Pop Bubble
9. Enter the Dark Side
10. Bitch in the Pit
11. Black Voodoo Sex
12. Wanna be a Gangsta
13. I Will Always Love You
14. 99 Problems BC (Rock Mix)