Swollen Members
Monsters in the Closet


2.0
poor

Review

by Andrew Barr (MM8) USER (65 Reviews)
August 23rd, 2006 | 21 replies | 3,478 views


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist


1 of 1 thought this review was well written

Swollen Members
Monster In The Closet


The Band: Mad Child
Prevail
Moka Only

Featured Artists: Nelly Furtado

Swollen Members is a band, well more of a group really. Just thought I’d clear that up, so that any more ignorant people reading this don’t get the wrong idea. Yes, ‘Swollen Members’ is a rather peculiar band name. I like many of you once pondered what could possibly possess a band to name themselves “Swollen Members”. Luckily for myself I was filled in on the matter by a fellow Sputnik member. Anyways, the story goes they were drunk at Denny’s when they came up with it. I myself find that to be pretty lame, though I’ve never been to a Denny’s so I can’t really judge. One thing is for sure, based on what they managed to come up with it’s not a good idea to name your band/group while intoxicated. Now, as the old saying goes “never judge a book (band) by its cover (name)”, so let’s get a little more into the group itself. To be blunt, they’re just not good. Their rapping skills are average at best and their ability to write lyrics is even worse. I must give this album some credit, though. It did have one good track. Steppin Thru (their spelling error not mine) is actually an enjoyable track. It has great beats throughout, nice rhythm and moderately decent vocals. The reason the vocals can be considered ‘moderately decent’ is because Moka did most of the vocal work in that track. Although, none of these men are very good at all, Moka is the best of the three. The instrumentals, or lack thereof in this album were also less than adequate. There was some keyboard and even cello and violin in select tracks, but it was poorly written and didn’t match up well with the vocals. There drums also, but it was just the same simple beat over and over again. It did change every so slightly between tracks, but for the most part it was the same beat. Other than that pretty much anything else you here, aside from the vocals is computer generated, or done by a soundboard. Now, I’m perfectly aware that just because something is computer generated or done by soundboard doesn’t mean it’s not good. Especially considering this is rap music and very little music in this genre is actually played on an instrument, but even taking that into consideration it’s not good. A lot of people don’t know this but I have heard my fair share of rap. I have an older friend from a near by town and whenever he drops by he crams rap down my throat like you wouldn’t believe. So, I actually do have a good idea of what I’m talking about and this is just poor work at best.

Lyrical Messages

Any actual lyrical messages are difficult to find in this album. The majority of it is the group singing about how great they are. For example “The members do it like you never knew”, “Swollen always brings it home”. The list goes on. Some tracks like Temptation gave the illusion of having a message, but it, like the other tracks doesn’t. You could argue that songs like temptation have a message, but if so it’s an extremely generic message, that’s already common knowledge anyways. Continuing to use temptation as an example all that song will teach anyone who reads the lyrics are that money, sex and drugs are tempting. In fact some songs lyrics don’t even make sense. Let’s now bring in Heavy Thinkers as an example. Nothing in that song really makes sense, but to spare you all some time I’ll just use one line as an example.
“Heavy thinkers, got the world spinning hectic. Now ignoring the fact that it’s impossible to think ‘heavy’ this statement is saying that because people are thinking ‘heavy’, or are in deep thought they are actually causing the planet earth to spin faster. I could go on for about a thousand more words describing different lines from various tracks that make no sense, but I think you all get the point. There was only one track that I enjoyed the lyrics to. Rockapella, SM manage to make a fifty-two second track where practically every word is bands name and it almost makes sense too. Now I’ll close the paragraph with perhaps the best example of their terrible lyrics. Intro, the majority of the song is just the group saying S and M rocks and they’re correct. S&M by Metallica does rock. There are some other lyrics, also. They’re just the band members saying how they rock. Example “Mad Child rocks”, he doesn’t though. To sum this up Swollen’s lyrical skills are equivalent to that of Slayer, but slayer has a better vocals and way better instrumentals, so they’re cooler.

Overall Feel

This album’s overall is best suited to be played at a house party. It’s fast, steady beats will get people dancing, or it will have people yelling to turn it off. Depends what kind of crowd you’re entertaining. If you’re entertaining a group that generally listens to rap then sure, they might like this. Or, they might not because it’s not good quality rapping. Depends how much they know about the genre. I personally can’t stand this album and would throw a fit if I heard it being played anywhere. Though, I can’t deny it does have sort of a ‘fun’ overall feel, which is why I said it would be good for parties. Personally I can’t listen to this album very often, but that’s mainly because I’m not fond of it. Some of you out there may enjoy this on a daily basis. Because of this albums fast beats, but soft vocals it can be good to listen to when you need to get pumped up for something, or when you’re just sitting around. I do like that it has that diversity, unfortunately the poor quality of music prevents me from listening to it at anytime, thus that does not effect my overall rating. Another thing that prevents me from listening to this is how evident the bands massive ego is. Yes, this album’s overall feel could actually be called egotistical. Now, many of you (Bron) are thinking “Hey, you can’t talk about ego’s you listen to Metallica”. Fair enough Metallica have big egos. I said it. I still like them, though. Let’s avoid mass amounts of retaliation following the review. Besides this bands ego is just too big. Half the songs were about themselves. Even Metallica aren’t that bad. That’s a main reason why I can’t listen to this album really. All they sing/rap about is themselves, that’s a turn off for me.

Conclusion

Monsters In The Closet is a mediocre rap album. The lyrics make very little sense, are mostly about the band themselves, have no overall message and aside from that the guys can’t rap very well at all. This album is also about half filler tracks. It really didn’t need to be twenty songs. Ten would’ve done just fine. Although, the mass amount of filler is mostly likely due to the fact this album is composed of B-sides and unreleased tracks with a couple new singles, as stated by Mad Child in the album booklet. He also said to consider this not their third and, but their second and a half. Regardless of that it’s still a poor album. The only thing that saved this album from getting below a two was the decent instrumental/soundboard work. Oh, and Steppin Thru helped, as well. I do like that track.

Pros: Steppin Thru

Cons: Bad lyrics
Bad rapping

Overall Rating: 2/5



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Comments:Add a Comment 
metallicaman8
August 23rd 2006



4677 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

OMG OMG OMG. METALLICAMAN REVIEWED RAP!

I just spotted a couple mistakes.

/Editing

EDIT: my comp won't let me edit for some reason, for now you'll have to live with the mistakes. I just noticed no has yet submitted the album art for this. I'm on it.This Message Edited On 08.23.06

Muisee
August 23rd 2006



679 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Liked them when I was a kid, forgot they were alive for abit, nice review.

Bron-Yr-Aur
August 23rd 2006



4405 Comments


To be quite honest, I didn't like this review much. Your writing was choppy, especially in the intro paragraph, and didn't particularly enjoy you bringing the Metallica debate into this, I've stated my stance numerous times, and actually find you to be quite wrong. I shan't vote.

heyseuss
August 23rd 2006



384 Comments


Was it as bad as when I brought Radiohead into the PF thing?

*I used to listen to these guys*

metallicaman8
August 23rd 2006



4677 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

To be quite honest, I didn't like this review much. Your writing was choppy, especially in the intro paragraph, and didn't particularly enjoy you bringing the Metallica debate into this, I've stated my stance numerous times, and actually find you to be quite wrong. I shan't vote.


Awwzz..come on now Bronny. Don't take my little comment personal. I just through it in their to avoid arguements after. Putting your name in brackets was a joke. Yeah, my writing is usually a little chopy with negative reviews. Don't know why.
My comp won't let me put up the album art either

Bron-Yr-Aur
August 23rd 2006



4405 Comments


I didn't take it personally, don't worry. I just didn't think it served much purpose and found it an unnessacary addition to the review.

pulseczar
August 23rd 2006



2385 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I don't think this review was particularly fair towards the group. For lyrics, tons of mainstream rap has bad lyrics, but can still make at least a good album. And as for the big egos thing, hey, it's rap. And the best place for criticizing this album is the filler, yet you stick that on quietly at the end of the review, as if it didn't really contribute to the bad score, which it does.
Rob the Viking is also a member of the group btw.

SCREAM!
August 23rd 2006



9973 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

OMG I also used to like them! Can't stand them now though.

Digging: Agalloch - The Serpent and the Sphere

SCREAM!
August 23rd 2006



9973 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

The review wasn't great so I won't vote.

Tyler
Emeritus
August 23rd 2006



7928 Comments


I agree with Bron, the Metallica stuff wasnt necessary.

On a lighter note, Swollen Members are terrible, and one of the main reasons Canadian Hip-hop gets such a shitty rep.

metallicaman8
August 23rd 2006



4677 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Yeah, it was unecessary, but it seems everytime I criticize a bands cockiness people throw the fact that I like Metallica in my face, so I put it in to try and avoid that. Aside from that this still isn't my best work, but I found it difficult to write as instrumentals are usually a big part of my reviews, while they're not that relavent in the world of rap. Sorry guys.

Bron-Yr-Aur
August 23rd 2006



4405 Comments


Really dude, you should steer away from simply describing the instruments and then the overall sound. It's a format I'm bored of reading personally, and I'd imagine it would get dull to write like that all the time. Just me though.

[quote=You] but it seems everytime I criticize a bands cockiness people throw the fact that I like Metallica in my face[/quote]
Again, I've expalined why I do, and I (as well as Steerpike) provided more than sufficient reasoning to back up my (our) claims.

metallicaman8
August 23rd 2006



4677 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

It\'s actually not just you two. There are lots of people who have used that against me, especially when I was newer. I would like to describe more than the overall feel and instrumentals, but I find it difficult and am not really sure what else to talk about. I will be getting more into lyrical messages in the future, though.

EDIT: Oh, and out of curiousity, why have you not put out a review in like forever, Bron?This Message Edited On 08.23.06

metallicaman8
August 23rd 2006



4677 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Ah, I finally got the album art up. Enjoy.
Sorry to doublepost

Bron-Yr-Aur
August 24th 2006



4405 Comments


Metallicaman, it's more or less because I haven't had any particular interest in reviewing.

SCREAM!
August 24th 2006



9973 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Yeah same here^^.
My school's about to start so i'm trying to spend as much time with friends and outside(etc) as i can.

SCREAM!
August 24th 2006



9973 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

And one more thing Metallicaman, you mentioned how the band is so full of themselves a lot,but, name one modern rapper that isn't.

Brain Dead
August 24th 2006



1150 Comments


Eminem.
He's really the answer to everything, isn't he?
Even though all modern rappers are cocky, that doesn't mean you can't criticize their cockiness.This Message Edited On 08.24.06

LiveWire420
August 29th 2006



90 Comments


I agree that this is Swollen's weakest album, but I still love them. Especially live, these guys rock. Can't wait for Black Magic.

jorge1234
September 27th 2006



1 Comments


DSAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA



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