First off, the facts. 1) Derek Hess cover. 2) Nice packaging. 3) Musically, picture Tool and Boy Sets Fire in a swinging-dick contest. 4) This CD includes a video in which “action shots” of the band, like, rocking out are interspersed with shots of some dude scribbling over anatomical drawings while a blonde woman, wearing what is commonly referred to as a wifebeater, throws wads of paper at him. Then she gives him a grenade. That sort of vapidity permeates the entire record, and I’m left with a really, really bad feeling about this band. Lyrically, I know it’s often difficult to bridge the chasm between obscurity and obviousness, but these dudes just go all the way for obscurity. I honestly don’t know what they’re shooting for here. I mean, in the song “District 2 Electric Boogaloo” the guy sings, “Baby cars but beat your babies, don’t get priorities straight/ Bingo stars, they cut in line, celebrities to the extreme/ Are you Ghetto or Gummo?” and, “The church is packed; the windows are still cracked/ Time to forgive, use that change you found last night/ It’s time to eat, hungry mouths will complain/ So meet and greet, you’re all scum, you should get along.” What the fuck is that? Vapid shit like that is all over the place on this record—are these guys really saying that inner-city churchgoers are “scum?” That in the ghetto, everyone has nice cars but beat the shit out of their kids? I mean, I’m not the quickest whip in town, but I’m not dumb either, and I really can’t tell what they’re getting at. I assume the song “Bruise” is about the aftermath of September 11, but I can’t tell if they’re honestly claiming they want to see “two towers climbing.” Do they really feel that we should “return the bodies to loving families and start rebuilding immediately?” And I’m sure a lot of folks in Afghanistan would be thrilled and relieved to know that 9/11 was simply “another crisis (that has been) put out to pasture.” In “Cover the Globe,” are they lamenting or applauding the “slaughter” of “faith-based programs?” There are a hundred other sketchy examples throughout this record—if they’re shooting for a tongue-in-cheek, “devil’s advocate” sort of lyrical attack, they missed the mark by being way too fucking vague. And if they’re sincere, it just goes to show you that even dipshit Republicans go to tattoo shops.
–keith (Fractured Transmitter)