This review is a continuation of my review on Toxicity. Why did I do this" Because during the making of Toxicity, they made thirty songs and only fourteen got recorded. All of their fans wanted to hear the sixteen remaining songs that they didn't release on Toxicity, so they put them onto a B-side album called Steal This Album!. You'd probably think Steal This Album! would sound similar to Toxicity, but some of the tracks are Toxicity's opposite. Toxicity was a mostly hard album and Steal This Album! is way softer. Steal This Album! hasn't gone commercial compared to Toxicity either (only had two singles that never made the album chart topping) and contains no lyric booklet and album art whatsoever (you can find the actual lyrics on their official website though). System of a Down have always made amazing studio albums since the beginning and what I'm reviewing now might be a sixteen song B-Side compilitation, but its "unique" sound makes it the best album System of a Down have made so far.
01. Chic 'N' Stu
The album starts with Serj Tankian muttering the words "Walking to the refridgerator, door's closed, lights are out, BUTTER'S GETTING HARD!". You'd think the song is about chicken stew hence the title, but it's actually about pizza pie. The verses state a pizza advertisement, the pre-chorus mentions pizza toppings, and the chorus and the bridge describe how advertising has got us on the run. The guitar, bass, and drums are nothing special though, just the typical sound Toxicity had. A decent way to start the B-Side compilation off.
The first single and was supposed to be the only single on the album. The guitar starts off almost as heavy as "Chic 'N' Stu", but gets softer and softer throughout the song until it gets hard again near the end. The lyrics also help make the song more beautiful and Daron Malakian sounds amazing singing in the chorus and the bridge. Seek your innervision and let it be the judge of this track.
Now we get to a short interlude song. The heaviness continues, but this crazy track on getting lost in a bubble jungle and dealing with the power struggle will get you prepared for the next song. Nothing much else to say here, except that this is the basic System of a Down interlude.
SOAD made this as a typical anti-war song for Toxicity, but two years after Toxicity and one year after Steal This Album!, the most famous fat college guy Michael Moore created a video for the song as a way to protest against the war on Iraq (a protest that eventually failed). This so called "second single" wasn't meant to stop the war on Iraq and because it didn't make it onto Toxicity, it was written before September the Eleventh. Other than that it's a decent pick for a single, sounding similar to "Bubbles", but SOAD could've done better picking the next single.
A song with simple lyrics about a boy getting framed for shooting a girl, but the instrumentation is brilliant. The average sound of System of a Down still goes on, but it gets soft on the verses and before the last chorus lots of Middle Eastern type music comes into play. Shows how this album slowly changes its tone.
06. A.D.D. (American Dream Denial)
The System of a Down anti-American anthem. It explains how the Americans have failed to accomplish the American dream and that now the rest of the world doesn't give a f**k about their world. This track is the opposite of "Innervision", except for the bridge which still remains soft. The best lyrics are "There is no flag that is large enough to hide the shame of a man in cuffs".
07. Mr. Jack
Don't know who Mr. Jack is, but he's an example of the poor homeless guy who lives on the side of the freeway in the car. The song is soft all the way through, except for near the end when the guitar gets pretty heavy. At that part of the song, Mr. Jack gets arrested by a police man, just for being black (at least that's what I think the words are saying anyway).
This is a really silly song. The bass, drums, and guitar get you headbanging while Serj Tankian says the most twisted tongue twisters in the verses ("Peter's pecker picked another pickle bearing pussy pepper") and joins with Daron Malakian to sing the chorus. The strangest lyrics though are at the bridge, which lists the most nonsensical objects out there (except for maybe plutonium wedding rings, which gets said in a weird way).
The only other interlude on Steal This Album! and the shortest song they've ever written. Serj spazzes out on how much of a disgrace television is and the craziest words in the interlude are "Life... so... unnecessary!". Nothing really special about the instrumentation, except that it makes the interlude go right into...
System of a Down have written some crazy drug songs, but none of them are as crazy as "Pictures". Serj Tankian gets lots of pictures on your mind with lyrical content almost as strange as "I-E-A-I-A-I-O" (for example: "Parachute your chocolate soul"). The drums and guitar are set up so that it sounds like a hard hitting soldier marching tune and after the first time the band goes through the chorus, Serj does this effect that sounds like the cluck of a chicken. The best guitar can be found at the bridge though and this makes the track one of SOAD's best B-Sides. However, this song leads to...
11. Highway Song
This is the reverse of "Pictures" and is the band's most emotional soft song. The music is a nice change to all of the very heavy material SOAD wrote in the past. The guitar is decent and the drums are awesome while Serj compares a bad relationship getting fixed to a highway. Daron Malakian joins in at the chorus and it's a great song to drive to.
12. F**k the System
If you thought "I-E-A-I-A-I-O", "36", and "Pictures" were strange, this track gets stranger. It starts with an incredibly hard and speedy guitar riff and then after the percussion comes in, Serj Tankian says a bunch of gibberish in the verses and shouts in the chorus "War! F**k the System! War! F**k the System! F**k the System! War! F**k the System! War! I need to f**k the sys! I need to f**k the sys! I need to f**k the sys!" The bridge is awesome and this track is one of my favourites. I'm not sure if System of a Down are making fun of themselves or giving a big "f**k you" towards the political system, but it's a big headbanger.
13. Ego Brain
A track sounding similar to "Highway Song", but slower. The message is emotional as well, but this time it's about a woman saving a man from being an egomaniac. Pretty decent track here.
The guitar, bass, and drums go back to a crazy fast pace while the words go on about how the mind of the government thinks. The chorus contains one of the best messages on the album, but by the time the song's about to end, it gets cut off to...
Now we get to the album's softest song, done only on an acoustic guitar. It's like MTV made a System of a Down unplugged album. This is the third relationship song Steal This Album! has, telling about the gambling problems that the character Serj is pretending to be has. The big highlight of this track is the acoustic guitar solo and every part of "Roulette" is very relaxing.
What "Roulette" would've sounded like if SOAD went electric and just like "Roulette", it's another relationship song. This time however, the subject of the song is that the girl breaks up with the guy. A sad, but nice way to end the album.
Overall album rating (on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the best): 10
Content Rating: Mildly offensive (The only tracks with swearing on them are "Boom!", "A.D.D.", "Mr. Jack", and "F**k the System")