With a career spanning over a decade long, countess tours and months that turned into years spent on the road promoting their name and Ozzfest gigs in between, (hed)p.e. have established their name and reputation as dirty, loud mouthed rap rockers that were placed none other than in the infamous nu-metal genre. But one can argue that opinion as they don’t really sound anything like Korn, Linkin Park or other ridiculous nu-metal bands. Their first record was a jazz hip-hop album with metal attitude and punk rock energy. They have become hated by many, but what is so bad about (hed)p.e.? Sure, they might have obscene lyrics and a controversial front man but (hed)p.e. are just out having fun, expressing their musical talents and their voices. It’s not likely that we’ll be seeing a (hed) video getting put on TRL or a Chris Brown fan buying a (hed)p.e. T-shirt, but for those who are outside of the mainstream music web, let us dive into (hed)p.e.s latest album, Insomnia
(hed)p.e. are well known to blend metal infused rap cohesively. They do it effortless; after all it’s what they have been doing for 12 years. Yes, the genre is outdated, but what does that have to do with enjoying the music once in awhile? Insomnia
however is more than just standard chugga chugga metal riff with a rapped verse and sung chorus. It has dozens of music genres in it, so there is a little bit for everyone. The album starts with Madhouse
, a metal song with screaming vocals and Jahred eerily shouting out, "I’ve come for your children, your first born, I am the boogie man, mothers be warned"
. It is a great song to start off the album as it pumps the listener up for one of the albums best songs, Walk on By
. Walk on By is without a doubt, one of the strongest tracks (hed)p.e. has written in their career and the lyrics are very politically inspired. Throughout the track a lot of emotion is let out of your speakers and the bridge around 2 minutes in is stunning. Jahred sings beautifully and before you know it, that drum beat that opens up the song is abruptly heard again.
It should be noted that Insomnia
is very politically influenced, but it is entertaining to hear Jahred rap and sing some lines about government conspiracies, the Free Masons and the Illuminati. The album also has some of that good ol’ (hed)p.e. sexcore in it, but it is used poorly in tracks such as Mirrorballin’
, which is just disastrous to listen to. Skip this track, its hard to take (hed)p.e. seriously when they write something like this. Insomnia
contains some of (hed)p.e.’s freshest material in years but it also contains some of their worst. Another thing that brings down the value of this CD is the way some songs were engineered and mastered. Some songs sound better than others rather than all of them sounded somewhat the same as far goes audio quality. For example on the 10th track, Tiananmen Squared
, the drums are hardly audible and it can be annoying at times to put up with a nuisance like this.
The good, however takes over the bad in this album. Game Over
is great song with great rhymes and a nice funky guitar line by Jaxon. Also +1, for Jahred mentioning Wikipedia towards the end of the song. The song has great energy and (hed)p.e. sounds so confident in this song. Other songs such as the reggae influenced metal tune, Suffa
are dynamic well written material with balls to the wall attitude. It’s pretty damn catchy too so don’t be surprised if you start singing, "I wanna see you suffa!"
is a sexy song guided with a catchy ass hell bass line by Mawk. Although it is more of hip-hop song, don’t be surprised if you see the more rock oriented fans digging this tune. It is an album highlight.
also features a hand full of guest rappers such as Big B on the thrash-punk song, RTO
and Daddy X from the Kottonmouth Kings and famed underground sensation, Tech N9ne lending their rapping talents in Wind Me Up
. Young Roscoe also has a verse in the aforementioned, Comeova2nite
also features a cover of Buffalo Springfield's, For What Its Worth
disguised as, Children
It contains a lot samples thanks to DJ Product. A nice listen to be honest.
In conclusion, Insomnia
is a step in the right direction for (hed)p.e. Even though most the original members are gone, despite all of the adversity they still manage to come up with a good batch of songs. Sure some parts of the album might seem repetitive, but still, give this album a shot, don’t have any doubts. (hed)p.e. are of a different breed and there is only one band like them on this earth.