Album: Street Sweeper Social Club, Tom Morello & Boots Riley, Cooking Vinyl

Andy Gill
Sunday 23 October 2011 06:39

Kindred left-wing activists Tom Morello and Boots Riley have expressed their political positions with furious articulacy on previous releases with Rage Against The Machine and The Coup, before hooking up to offerwhat guitarist Morello terms “revolutionary party jams” as Street Sweeper Social Club.

It’s intended, he adds half-serious, for homeless and jobless people to have “something to listen to on their iPods while storming Wall Street”. But frankly, even the sympathetic would be sorely tested by the sheer bumptiousness of this rap-metal crossover, inwhich the greasy funk that rapper Riley employed with The Coup is steamrollered into subservience by Morello’s bullish guitar riffs. “Fight! Smash! Win!” establishes their attitude, opening the album with the line “And the wealth don’t trickle down”, before Riley aims “100 Little Curses” at the rich.

“The Oath” is a loser’s pledge “to get that foot off my neck”, but there’s a facile anger behind tracks such as “Shock You Again” and “Clap For The Killers”, which compares gang murderers with government- sanctioned killers. Morello’s chops are best displayed in the concluding solo of “Somewhere In The World”; but too often the turgid funkmetal riffs just prevent the tracks getting airborne.

Download this: The Oath, Somewhere In The World

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