Bionic Jive are one of those bands that should have gotten a lot of attention, but ended up being slept upon. While rap metal is nothing new, Bionic Jive were really good at it, and they had a distinctive sound, as opposed to the millions of acts that tried to be the next Rage Against the Machine
or Urban Dance Squad
Bionic Jive is:
* Ako Mack - lead vocals
* Emerg McVay - lead vocals
* Larry "Luv" Elyea - guitar
* Richard "Cunni" Gartner - bass guitar
* Chris "TGI" Elsner - drums
* DJ Radar - turntables
The band is fronted by two MCs, one of which reminds me more of Tech N9ne
than Zack De La Rocha. While there is a political undercurrent to a lot of the songs here, an anti-religion theme is also very apparent, such as in the bookending "Who's Your God" pieces and "I Shot Lucifer". On a whole, Bionic Jive have a lot more in common with heavy metal from a lyrical and musical standpoint than other so-called "rap metal" bands. While this album is definitely rap metal (the rapped vocals and turntablist make this fact all the more obvious), the metal approach is more obvious thanks to the lack of the punk influence that runs through many rap-metal bands, especially RATM.
However, what Bionic Jive does share with RATM is their ability to approach political subjects in a way that is both musically engaging and intelligent. "I Shot Lucifer" manages to discuss a lot of different subjects, including distrust of government, distrust of religion and opposition to racism, in addition to be a great, head-bobbing metal song. The female chorus in parts of the song provides for a very spooky atmosphere. While two other tracks proceed this, this song is where the album really gets going, setting the mood for more head-bobbers.
A few of these head-bobbers break from the political commentary, like the crowd-pumping "Hands to the Roof". Which isn't to say that any track is any less entertaining than another. In fact, one of the most head-bobbing tracks on the album is the anti-racist track "Break The Chains". Murder turns up as a theme on "Ricochet", which can also be considered one of the band's anti-religion and club tracks as well. "Walking With Shadows" is about the ghetto, discussing things like drive-by shootings, alcoholism and teenage pregnancy. "Goodbye" refers to suicide and Satanism, with what is a rarity for this album: the chorus is sung rather than rapped.
The band is very energetic throughout, providing some sharp riffs and rocking tracks throughout. Armageddon Through Your Speakers
showed rap metal maturing and set up for what should have been a really big underground act that seems to have disappeared over the last few years. They released another album without a supporting label, but only as a digital download, and as a result, this is probably your best chance to sample the band.