Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Ramallah - Kill a Celebrity CD Review

Before this review really gets underway, I would like to present you with the first line of lyrics spat out at the listener on Ramallah’s disc Kill a Celebrity. I do this because I believe that your overall enjoyment of this cd will definitely vary based upon your reaction to what you read below… so read away (and pretend it’s being screamed at you in a distorted, murky hardcore voice):

“I’d love to detonate a car bomb at the goings of your precious MTV, and put some sarin gas in the central AC at the VMA’s, and watch those beautiful faces turn ashen grrraaaaaaaayyy.”

And with those words spit out, the rest of the band jumps into the song and tries their hardest to pummel you with an intro breakdown that I’m sure is the best thing ever (in their minds). Thick, grating power chords thunder over some deep drumming and bass… just like almost every “heavy” song that came out in the late 90’s. Just from this first song, it’s easily apparent that Ramallah is using music as tool to further their agenda rather than using an agenda to help in making creative, deep music. This might sound like a bad thing… well, ok, it definitely does sound like a bad thing, but that’s only because it is.

With such over the top lyrics like those above, song titles like “Shock and Awe”, “Drink the Kool-Aid”, and “Oscar Cotton”, and the simplicity found in most of the songs, it’s hard to view this band as anything more than a novelty that will only appeal to the dimmest of the hardcore crowd. With that said, I can see a ton of 16 year old kids who “hate the system”, “want to fuck the government”, and “would like to kill a celebrity” cranking this cd as loud as the tiny factory speakers in their 1987 Nova will go, with the windows rolled down, looking angrily at every passerby, hating the world.

There are many reasons why only 16 year old, pretty stupid, hardcore kids will get into this cd, such as that the scenester hardcore kids won’t touch this disc with a 10 foot long pair of girl pants because of songs like “A Day in the Life” that sound like a bad mix of Nickelback, synthesized melodic vocals, and a bouncy pop beat (with a little hardcore too, I guess). The radio rock kids won’t touch it because it’s too “hard”. The metal kids won’t touch it because, even though the guitars have a metallic overtone to them, they’re still all following simplistic hardcore chord progressions with a bunch of breakdowns thrown in, which will bore metal kids who want shredding. Seriously, there really isn’t a market outside of stupid, pissed off, 16 year olds for this band. Hopefully they realize this and give this demographic the hard sell. If not, they shouldn’t plan on selling a lot of cds.

Part of me wanted to like this band because they were just a simple hardcore band with bad tough guy lyrics that I could throw on when I watch the presidential addresses on mute, but then there was the other part of me, the part that realized songs like “Bye-Bye”, with its hardcore-lite style, and all of the other songs with lyrics that made me want to laugh out loud, was something I couldn’t listen to with a straight face or seriously recommend to anyone as anything more than a “listen to this, it’s great (in a bad way)” disc that’s worth spinning once or twice.

I will definitely recommend this cd to everyone, however, if Ramallah actually follows through on their cd title. The world would be such a better place without the likes of Paris Hilton, Jennifer Lopez, Billy Bob Thornton, Ashton Kutcher, and all of the other ass clowns that should never have become famous. I’ll be here waiting, Ramallah… start the throat slashing whenever you feel ready.

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