2 of 2 thought this review was well written
In absence of mainstream airplay and promotion, (hed) p.e. have carved out a following that is truly underground for their fusion of punk rock and hip-hop (although leaning more strongly on the former in recent years). Through fiery riffs, musical diversity and intelligence, they've been one of the reigning underdogs of the industry, and despite being numerously ripped off and associated with genres they were never a part of, (hed) p.e., much like their metal counterparts Deftones
, stand tall on their own terms as originators, innovators, and, above all, a great band.
, up front, is the band's most rock-oriented album to date, with Jared setting aside his rapping to showcase his skilled melodic singing and punk screams and the band shifts from style to style while putting their own spin on things. For example, "It's All Over" could have been an outtake from a System of a Down
album. "No Rest for the Wicked" has a bluesy guitar solo. "Truth Rising", "This Fire", "Menina" and "Bad News" are full-on stomp-blast hardcore in the Dead Kennedys
This album also sees the band at their most varied since their self-titled debut, Broke
albums, after a series of mostly punk-oriented albums (Only In Amerika
, Back 2 Base X
and New World Orphans
). "Takeover" has the band doing their best imitation of a funk band as Jared hits the listener with battle rap disses at emos and bands that bit Hed's style. Lajon Witherspoon of Sevendust
turns up to contribute his trademark bluesy style to "Stand Up", one of the few out-and-out metal tracks in the band's catalog. There's also out-and-out hip-hop tracks like "Murder" and "No More Secrets" - and closing the set off, the reggae song "It's Alright!"
Lyrically, (hed) p.e. present a positive outlook from a political viewpoint, with many of the songs speaking of a former regime being fired by the people and bringing in a new age of enlightenment. Agree with their views or not, (hed) p.e. does a good job of making their views known, outright, and express them intelligently.
By jumping from hardcore to punk to metal to rap to blues to industrial to jazz to funk to reggae, all within the same album, (hed) p.e. prove that punk rock is not dead, and create a listenable album that is both rockin' and original at the same time, cementing their place in history as one of punk's most creative outfits and one of the best modern punk bands you have in your music collection.