A group made up of late 90s hardcore/rap/nu-metal stars is not something I saw coming.
Stuff that sounded like this phased itself out in an overcrowded market in the mid 2000’s. In saying that, this is heavy and very hardcore driven music. Unsurprising, considering the group, vocalist Sen Dog (Cypress Hill), guitarists Billy Graziadei (Biohazard) and Roy Lozano (downset.), bassist Christian Olde Wolbers(Fear Factory) and drummer Fernando Schaefer (Worst), were all at or near the forefront of their respective genres when this form of music was at its biggest, tracing its roots back to the Cypress Hill album Skull & Bones particularly the ‘Bones’ side of the album and its more metal approach.
Starting off with a crunchy riff ‘My M.O.’ and you note almost immediately that both guitarists have been saving some great hardcore riffs that stomp, and Sen Dog’s tough guy lyrics that make this song feel like the year 2000 has come back. This album is a great attempt to resurrect the rap-metal genre, but with a more hardcore bite. Think along the lines of Body Count with a more aggressive attack. ‘Resistance’ begins with a quiet loop and just leap to a great start, or ‘Crushing That’ which opens with a more traditional punk riff before Sen Dog nails a punk vocal approach throughout the song, keeping hardcore sound strong. Follow up ‘Less Than A Human’ will have you nodding your head and agreeing with powerful lyrics about equality.
Wolbers’ bass sound is very up front, and on ‘The Grind’ takes centre stage for the opening of a song that I thought was going to be a ballad until the chorus kicked in. From about middle of the album, things feel a little more rap orientated. The heavy backline is still in place, but the tough guy lyrics and rap posing on ‘Made It This Way’ and ‘Victim of Circumstance’ in particular spring to mind.
I was fortunate to be in my formative years when music that sounded like this was incredibly fresh. People my vintage into music in the 90s remember how revolutionary Rage Against The Machine sounded, and those in the know recognise how big downset. should have been if only record label dramas didn’t conspire against them. This album is a great example of the positives that were around in that odd musical climate and also a good harbinger for The Prophets of Rage album due later this year featuring Cypress Hill’s other vocalist B-Real.
- My M.O.
- Where I Stay
- Crushing That
- Less Than a Human
- The Grind
- Victim of Circumstance
- Made it This Way
- Finish the Game
- Up And Out of Me
- Start A War