Review: Evanescence – "Fallen"

(By Guest Author ‘Professor’ Jim)
It’s amazing when two of your songs are featured on the soundtrack of a blockbuster hit movie and yet almost nobody has heard of you or even know how to pronounce your band’s name. But really, Evanescence is a name you should look out for because sooner then later everybody is going to recognize this band’s evident musical talent.
Evanescence started out as a struggling band in Little Rock, Arkansas, trying to make a name for themselves in the local death metal music scene. That’s right, I said death metal from Arkansas. They certainly weren’t death metal and they certainly weren’t country, so finding a spot was tough. By word of mouth and the EPs Amy Lee and guitarist Ben Moody recorded in his basement started to build them a fan base.
But now with two tracks on the Daredevil soundtrack and their debut album Fallen finally released, they are ready to take on the world. They are epic dark rock driven by Amy Lee’s angelic voice and Ben’s simple but effective guitar riffage, backed by strings and piano. It’s a beautiful yet haunting ride from start to finish.
The album opens up with “Going Under”, a hard hitting, melodic almost rock ballad with hints of electronic beats and beautiful piano. Amy’s voice starts out deep, raspy and downright sexy. In fact, let me just get this out of the way now, I have a huge crush on this girl. Her vocal skills can be downright breath taking, shown by this song and the rest of the album. I’d let her “bring me to life” anytime she wanted�if you know what I mean�and I think you do. The chorus is very nice, catchy, but not too poppy and disposable.

Lyrical highlight: “Screaming deceiving and bleeding for you, and you still won’t hear me”. It has nice, solid guitar solo as well, completing the package.

The second song, and one featured on the Daredevil soundtrack is “Bring Me to Life”. Again, great chorus and hook, beautiful piano and some heavy riffs through out. I have mixed feelings for the guest vocals from Paul McCoy from 12 Stones, but I still love this song to no end. Lyrical highlight: “Where I’ve become so numb without a soul, my spirit sleeping somewhere cold”. The album then shifts into “Everybody’s Fool” which as some nice lyrical progressions. Something I love about this band is a lot of times bands like to repeat themselves. They go back to the same set of lyrics again and again. But it seems Evanescence is beyond that, and the verses and chorus’s seem to grow. It’s a nice change from some of the mainstream rock out nowadays.

“My Immortal” is slow, beautiful song with only Amy Lee’s amazing voice, strings and piano. The second song featured on the Daredevil soundtrack, it’s a beautiful ballad with some great lyrics. “Your face it haunts my once pleasant dreams, you voice it chased away all the sanity in me”. Now that’s something that can speak to people in so many levels. After the slow song, it’s usually customary to make the next song a little on the heavier side, and Evanescence doesn’t disappoint. “Haunted” is just like the name suggests, a haunting, heavy song, probably the heaviest on the album. It’s also got some great electronic elements.
“Tourniquet” is lyrically interesting, and you can interpret it either a spiritual or non- spiritual way. Great song over all, and it ends with a beautiful orchestration the transitions into the next song “Imaginary”, a song about escaping from the world into your own. “Don’t say I’m out of touch with this repent chaos�your reality”. “Taking Over Me” is about wanting the old flame, the one who got away. “I’ll give up everything to find you, I have to be with you to live, to breathe, your taking over me.”
“Hello” is another beautiful ballad, and “My Last Breath” is another haunting, heavy rocker again with some great electronic do-dads. Finally there’s “Whisper”, which I think is the worst song on the album. It seems kinda tacked on.
Overall, the only beefs I really have with this band is the guitar is kind of simple and kind of a little too familiar once in a while. Some times the lyrics can get on the cheesy side, but some how they make it work better than most bands. But with the beautiful melodies and Amy’s amazing voice, this is one helluva album. It’s nice to hear a band that’s lyrically honest and not that fake teen angst that you might hear from freaking Avril Lavigne or some other mainstream rock on the radio. I give this git 4 out of 5 stars; one enjoyable, beautiful album.

Review: Drive-Thru Records DVD Vol. 1

After seeing this in the stores quite a bit, and debating on buying it, I went for it. I purchased the Drive Thru Records DVD, and I must say, I’m glad that I did. For starters, it contains over 3 hours of footage, and for $14.99, that’s not bad at all. It contains music videos, live footage, interviews, and home videos from most of the Drive Thru Records bands.

My favorite thing on this DVD would have to be an acoustic version of Letters to You by Finch. I really enjoy the song, and I really enjoy acoustic songs, so this was quite a treat for me. Something else on here that’s pretty cool, is the video for the original version of Hit or Miss by New Found Glory. This is the version off of the Nothing Gold Can Stay album, and in my opinion the better version. The video is made out to look like the tv show Cops, only it’s called NFG. It’s got Corey Feldman dressed as a Police Officer, and he’s driving around busting the NFG guys for various offenses. Only, instead of arresting them, he kicks their ass with his nightstick. It ends with a greasy wifebeater wearing Jordan, getting beatdown for a spousal abuse. A live performanace of Ender by Finch is on here, and it’s pretty damn rockin. These guys seem like they put on a kick ass show. I hope I get the chance to see them someday. There’s also live footage and videos from The Starting Line, Allister, Homegrown, Something Corporate, and many other Drive-Thru bands.

There’s a hilarious hotel room interview with Allister. The guys are totally trashed and acting really stupid. It made for a very funny “interview.” The funiest thing on the DVD is the home videos located in the Bonus section of the DVD. It’s really nothing more than 45 minutes of footage showing the Drive-Thru bands acting like jackass’s.

My only complaint about the DVD is a minor one. There isn’t much New Found Glory stuff on it. I’m sure that’s because NFG have already released their own DVD, so no need to overload this one with them. Overall, I give this DVD a 3 star rating. If you’re a fan of any of the Drive-Thru Records bands, you should definately get this.

Interview: Milea

On February 6th 2003 Guest Reporter Cathy Lewis sat down with Chris, the lead singer of Milea, an up in coming hardcore/emocore band from the New York City area:

BP: I don’t know how to start this.
Chris: Umm… What exactly are you asking me about, my band right?
BP: Okay, what is your favorite ice cream?
BP: (yes)
Chris: (laughs) Vanilla with sprinkles.
BP: Alright, now for the real questions. What is the name of your band and what type of music do you guys play?
Chris: We’re called “MILEA.” Um, we’re not sure about our “category” but I’d like to think were on the lines of emocore or screamo. What ever it is it’s your basic scream sing relationship, but we have an original enough sound to differ.
BP: who plays what?
Chris: Dave Paleaz plays bass, Sean George plays guitar, Raphael Morant plays drums, and I’m the lead singer.
BP: How long have you guys been together?
Chris: Not for long, about maybe 10 months. But we’ve accomplished quite a bit for our short time together.
BP: How did you guys get together?
Chris: My band mates were already in the band together and they were looking for a lead singer. I went to one of their rehearsals, I didn’t think they were all that and I was piss drunk so I decided to sing. Surprisingly they enjoyed it. It was fun. And from then on we’ve adapted to each others different tastes in music and styles and molded it into what we make.
BP: Very cool, who are your musical influences? Is there anyone who you would want to be like?
Chris: Well, I have a lot of musical influences. Ranging from Glass Jaw, Mudvayve and The Deftones. And even soul music, old school stuff. My band mates range from death metal to classical music. Very diverse music range, there are a lot of bands that I look up to. And sometimes I find my self mimicking them, but I try not to… I want to have an original “image” or whatever that is. But my favorite band is The Deftones they’re awesome.
BP: I love The Deftones also. Wait, I forgot to ask where are you guys all from?
Chris: (laughs) Manhattan, NY mostly. Dave is from queens Sean from Manhattan I’m from the Bronx but will soon live in freki Yonkers. And Raphael is from uptown Manhattan but he also lives in Jersey
BP: So what’s store for milea in 2003?
Chris: Nervous breakdowns! We’re waiting for the “word” from Epic Records. Matt Pinfield, that dude from MTV, took our demo to Dave McPherson, the head Sony Records. He enjoyed it and now we’re just waiting. Only problem is… We’ve been waiting for about three weeks. But this shit doesn’t happen over night, so ya know.
BP: Do you know when you will get the “word”?
Chris: Well, it depends on when they hold the meeting and get official contracts printed. And then it has to go through lawyers; it’s a bunch of bullshit. We’re just like fish waiting to be caught, but they’re teasing us with a worm and no hook… it blows. In this case we are suicidal fish!
BP: I wish you guys the best of luck! Hey, if people reading this would want to hear some of your music where could they do that?
Chris: Well, I hope they don’t want to hear it yet… but they could go to the website. It has it there. www.milea.xrs.net… we need to put our new demos up though.
BP: Good deal, do you have any up coming shows?
Chris: Not right now unfortunately, we’re working on all new material. We don’t wanna play the same songs. We want to hit CBGCs or Elbow Room or any venue in New York with new songs.
BP: Well, good luck to you Chris and thank you for taking time to chat it up with me. Is there anything you want to say, any random comments?
Chris: Yes. Masturbation is kinda like drugs, It’s all good until you notice your fucking your self. A message to all those drug addicts,
BP: Ok well, Chris…
Chris: Cool.
BP: Thank you and good luck.

Spotlight: Oblique – Indiana Metal Band

Nick Whetsel, Ryan Lee, Chad Leathers, Ross Locke, and Tanner McCracken. What do these 5 guys have in common? They’re each a member of what is probably the best metal band that Muncie, Indiana has to offer. They’ve described themselves as “being on the forefront of a third wave of Alternative Metal.” Their influences include Tool, Perfect Circle, Deftones, Theropy?, and Helmet. They’ve gained a decent local following, playing shows in and around the Indianapolis area. They finished second in this years Battle of the Bands, losing by a mere 8 votes. They recently played the Dead Leaf Festival here in Muncie, which I had the pleasure of seeing them for the first time. Unfortunately, they were given an early time slot on an all day event, and not many people were there to see them. They’ve also released two demos.

The first demo included the songs Believe, Shaping, and Chromosone. I’ve only heard one song from the demo, as it is no longer available. The song I was able to hear before it was recently removed from MP3.com was Believe. It’s a good song, but nothing like their new style.

Their second demo, which I purchased after seeing them play at the Dead Leaf Festival, is really good. They seem to have gone a different direction with their sound, as opposed to their first demo. This one includes the songs Color of Voices, Brutal Truth, Capture the Flag, Destination After Death, Pathway, and Our Flood. My personal favorites from the demo would have to be Color of Voices and Capture the Flag.

Ever since I first heard them play, I’ve tried to think of who they sound like, or who they could be compared to. I can’t think of anyone. My brother sent a couple songs to a girl over the Internet, and she said they reminded her of Tantric. I’ve heard Tantric, and Oblique doesn’t sound like Tantric. I highly recommend heading over to their web site and listening to some of their songs. The link is below.

Source: Oblique

Tales From The Bishop

Sorry, that was stupid. What’s up, yo? This is Bishop, back and fashionably late as usual. I say usual, but this is my second column, and, you know, it’s hard to say ‘as usual’ when the last one was supposedly ontime because….

Bear: SHADDUP! *smack*

Ow.

Sorry about that.

Anyway, I was thinking of a lot of stuff to write a column about. First off, I’m going to rip on Eminem, in vain hopes of getiing made fun of by him at some point.

‘Hey! Hey white boy! Stop wearing glasses to try and look smart! It just makes you look like a bigger nerd! Hey! Hey! Call out a black guy for once, you coward! Or at least a white guy who can fight! Yeah! And stop rapping about yourself being controversial! Nobody thinks that anymore! All the old people love you… and that makes you lamer than lame! LAME! Move out of the way! Let’s play some AMG… now THAT is controversial! Go move to frickin’ Pennsylvania and open a dairy farm!’

…that’s not going to work.

Allright, I made promises about saying some stuff in my last column, but I’m not going to fufill them. Why not? Because I hate you. Instead, I’m going to examine, closely, the…um…

Why are there no bands around that don’t piss at least one person off? Remember Elvis? Nobody woke up in the morning and said ‘Ugh… Elvis’ the way I do whenever Avril Levine (spelling, anyone) is screaming in my ear about her Skeighter Boi’s or Justin Timberlake is breathing funny and trying to be sexy. In the old days, the only band that really, really pissed people off was the Four Seasons. ‘Sherry BAYYAYBEE’. Of course, this does not hold a candle to ‘That don’t impress me much’ by the formerly attractive, now easily hateable Shania Twain or ‘It’s gonna be May’ by N’sync. Those songs I could truly do without. It’s like they made a special point to irritate me when they were putting the album together.

‘Justin?’

*gasp* Yes?*weeze* …just justin….

‘Justin, we think you should annoy Bryan Bishop by doing that creepy breath-whisper thing that makes us want to hit you.’

*weeze*

Oh, let’s not forget rap, the old septic tank of artistic integrity.

‘The fish to fry in the kitchaaaaaaaaaan, the beans don’t burn on the greeeeeeeeeell, it took a whole lot of tryyyyyyyEEEEEEEEEEn, just to ket up that HEEEEEEEEll.’

Good lord. The first time I heard this I contemplated walking out of my dorm room(121 Arkansas Hall, for the ladies) and taking out the rage welling inside me on the nearest person. Nelly really irritates me. Really. I just want to take his bandage off of his face… and stick it to the warm jelly of his eyeball.

Fun with animal cruelty: Put a sock on a cat’s head, then sit back and enjoy.

Wussy songs you should check out:

‘Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears’ by Three Irish Tenors

‘Snow on the Sahara’ by Anggun

‘The Hands that Built America’ by U2

‘Little Green Bag’ by George Baker Selection

‘Grey Street’ by Dave Matthews Band

There, a little more space filled up. YES! Almost done. Bear won’t even notice I’m late. Hee hee. He’s so easy to trick.

Okay… let’s make it… three more paragraphs? Is that good? No, you want me to end it now?

Okay. See ya next week!

Spotlight: Much The Same – Chicago Punk Rock

Their web site describes Much the Same as “an aggressive, melodic punk rock band from the South side of Chicago.” I think they’ve hit the nail right on the head. The singers voice reminds me a bit of the lead singer from Millencollin. That’s a good thing, by the way.

Gunner, Dan, Franky, and Mook have been together since 1999 and have accomplished quite a bit. They released their first EP, Caught Off Guard, in the summer of 2001. The EP is described as “6 songs of fast aggressive punk that will leave their catchy, yet powerful hooks in your head for days.” They’ve went on tour, and have opened up for such bands as Thrice, Belvedere, Dogwood, Slick Shoes, and have appeared on the Warped Tour several times. It seems that all of their hard work and dedication has paid off, as the well known punk band, Anti-Flag, signed the guys to the A-F Records label. Their debut album, “Quitters Never Win,” is set to be released on April 22, 2003, through A-F Records.

You can hear 2 demo versions of songs from the album at MP3.com/MuchTheSame

The band has several show dates coming up in the Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, and Pennsylvania areas. February 7, they’ll join Anti-Flag in Millvale, PA for the A-F Records 5 year Anniversary special. If you’re in one of these areas, I would highly suggest checking these guys out.

Credit: Much The Same

A-F Records

The Bear Truth 1

It is a new semester and a new year, but I am still your Editor-In-Chief. I know you’re all happy and I can’t blame ya. I take pride in being your editor and being the best journalist this side of the Mississippi. So without further a dui, I’ll let the column begin.

One of the founding fathers of rap, Russell Simmons, is planning a “Hip-Hop Woodstock” which would be held in Atlanta, Georgia over a two-day period. “Just as music played an important role in the changing of our culture after the original Woodstock, we are again at a turning point where music, specifically hip-hop, will have a role in shaping our future. It’s time to take that responsibility seriously,” said Simmons in a press statement about the festival. This is very interesting, because the last time we saw an event like this was Woodstock ’99, and on the final day, after the Red Hot Chili Peppers played their set, there were riots. Stands were burned, bathrooms were knocked over, and a lot of other stuff was destroyed. It was terror. Given those events, it will be interesting to see the plan for this, “Hip Hop Woodstock,” and if it does happen, only one would wonder what will become of it. Of course, if the plan goes through, a lot of major hip-hop acts will be on the bill, and rumors of Ludichris, Eminem, and Nelly are being thrown around.

There are a bunch of bands in the studio right now recording albums. Limp Bizkit is in the midst of putting the finishing touches on their fourth studio album, “Less Is More.” The spot for the guitarist hasn’t been filled, but Rivers Cuomo of Weezer, Brian “Head” Welch of KoRn, Page Hamilton of Helmet, and Al Jourgense of Ministry have been aiding Limp with their project. Fred Durst claims this will be the heaviest Limp Bizkit album of all, and could lead to a new genre of rock. I am simply looking forward to when it comes out in April 1st. I don’t care what anyone says, Limp Bizkit rocks. In other news, Linkin Park will be releasing their sophomore project, “Meteora,” which is due out in stores on March 25th, with the lead off track being, “Somewhere I Belong.” Just like their first effort, “[Hybrid Theory],” this album will have no special guest appearances. Speaking of sophomore albums, Hoobastank has begun work on writing their next album, which so far as no title. Doug Robb, the frontman, says that he would like to start recording in a month, though doesn’t expect the project to hit stores until August.

Looks like R. Kelly has done it again. After claiming he never had sex with an under-age teen, he was arrested for 12 counts of child pornography. Police found a digital camera that belonged to him with 12 shots of a minor on it, and three of which depict him in a sexual act. This really doesn’t look too good for R. Kelly. I’m not saying that he did this … just implying that R. Kelly is getting deeper and deeper into a hole. No, not that hole, you sick perverts.

Lastly, due to time restraints, I would like to comment on American Idol. The best time to watch American Idol is the tryout period. The episodes have been aired for the past two weeks and I get a kick out of it every time when I see people who can’t either A.) Sing, B.) Have an attitude, or C.) Looks like their mother dressed them. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to have your mother dress you … well, yea, I probably am, aren’t I? In any event, there’s few talent out there this year, and even though Simon tore some of the contestants a new rear end and even though it was funny, I admire those rejected to keep on following on with their dream. This is one show I will definitely be watching this season.

Looks like all for this issue… I’ll catchy ya on the flipside.
-Bear Frazer

Review: Taproot – Welcome

Taproot hits the mainstream with the release of 2002″s “Welcome” as their hit single “Poem” has grabbed the attention of many, including Mtv. Taproot put Ann Arbor, Michigan on the map back in 2000 when Taproot was first recruited by Limp Bizkit frontman, Fred Durst. After talks fell through, Taproot left Fred Durst and signed with Atlantic. Steve Richards, Mike DeWolf, Phil Lipscomb and Jarrod Montague make up this four piece set. The band first met back in 1997, and started writing stuff that would later appear on their self-released “Pimp Ass Sounds”, “…..Something More Then Nothing”, “Mentobe” and “Upon Us” EPs and LPs. In 2000, Taproot released their first major LP off Atlantic Records. “Gift” put Taproot on the map, with the big hit “Again and Again” and “I”. Taproot”s “Gift” apparently peaked at 160 on the Billboard Chart, but Welcome is n/a.

The first track gives you such little light into what “Welcome” is made of. The first song, entitled “Mine” starts off with a bang. Everything comes together, guitar, bass and drums start this cd off with huge burst of energy, then Steve”s mellower vocals announce that some person or maybe himself are his for the taking. “Poem” is the first and mega hit off “Welcome” so far, many people had heard this song before though. Taproot first debuted this song on Linkin Park”s Street Soldiers tour in 2001, the band also played “Poem 2 Self”(as it was called) on Ozzfest that year. The video was shot in an abandoned house, with the band jamming out while the main character reacts to his girlfriend cheating on him. Trapped in a dark house trying to get out his feelings on paper, he fails, but keeps trying, until he breaks out of the house and into the light.

Most every song was newly written by the band. Throughout all of Taproot”s touring, they had been writing new songs for an upcoming record and that is where “Welcome” began. All songs are unique in their own way, after months of writting material and layering of Steve”s voice(yes that background voice is his) to the multi-layered guitars and bass, their really is a change in every song. From the downright rock “Sumtimes” and “Time” to the most mellow in “Like” and “When”, Taproot stays true to its original self, but the maturity is there. A few years ago, Rolling Stone admitted that Taproot will be “the next contenders for the new-metal crown”, and who can disagree” The song I feel most strongly about is “Like”, I wouldn”t want this song to be released, cause it shows the softer side of Taproot and some people have seen that side with the release of “I” off “Gift. One song I would like to hear on radio would be “Myself”. This song starts off loud and encompasses a part of “Again and Again” which I think is pure genius.

“Welcome” is definitely one of the best albums of 2002, it really shows a maturity and the big, bright and huge future the guys from Ann Arbor have. This cd is a four star rating, all the songs are original, they kept their hard rock and the melody that they had in “Gift”. As of now, Taproot are in Europe, but will be back in the US to help kick off Disturbed”s Music As A Weapon Tour.

For more info check outTaprootmusic.com

Review: Snoop Dogg – "Paid Tha Cost To Be Da Bo$$"

(By Guest Author Josh McFly)
He’s given up weed, weapons, and his overall distaste for white people. He’s a husband, and a father of two. He’s an owner of his own label, and recently put out his own clothing line. The beats on his album are now done himself (for the most part); our little Snoop Dogg is all grown up.
So who thinks it’s about time he comes out with an album that expresses his growth as an artist as well as a human being (much like pop peers christina aguilera and britney timberlake.. smells like sarcasm)? I don’t.
“right now the way you lookin bitch you fly as fuck
I don’t even know if I done had too much
You play too much, I had to fuck
Cuddled you up and put my hands on your butt
Rubbin your stuff and now your pants full of nut”
-track 6, ‘Lollipop’
Although Snoop’s undying love for the bitches is clearly displayed on this record, he doesn’t ignore the fact that he indeed has a wife. ‘Beautiful’ and ‘I Believe in You’ are some of the songs where Snoop shows his softside for his significant other, a side not often showed on his past efforts. You can also expect to hear other rappers like, Ludacris, Jay-Z, Nate Dogg, Redman, as well as everyones favorite tone deaf cameo, Pharrell (member of the extremely overrated Neptunes).
Overall, this album is much of what you could expect from Snoop. It’s got a beat, and you can dance to it. Unless you can’t dance; then just relax and listen how to mack it to the white bitches. Maybe you’ll learn something, bitch.

Rating – 3/5 Stars

Review: System of a Down – "Steal This Album!"

On November 26th, 2002, California-based metal outfit System of a Down released their third album, “Steal This Album!”. Their newest release combines the sounds of their previous albums, “System Of A Down” and “Toxicity”, as well as adding a bit of new flavour. Many of the songs on “Steal This Album!” were originally recorded for “Toxicity”, but were left out because they didn’t flow well with the continuity of the album, according to SOAD’s lead singer, Serj Tankian. Tankian also states that they are in no way B sides, and are as good if not better than the songs that made it onto “Toxicity”. That in mind, let’s delve into some of the songs themselves, shall we?

The album starts off with “Chic ‘n’ Stu”, which is interesting to say the least. The focus of the song is directed toward the scrutiny of unscrupulous advertisers who force useless products down the throats of the masses. This is overtop of a hard and fast metal sound that System fans know and love. Now, even though I know the song is about advertising, I’m still confused by the bulk of the lines, which are about a pizza. My confusion aside, a good way to start the album off and get people thinking.

The album’s first(and at the time of writing, only) single is up next, and is titled “Innervision”. “I need your guidance/I need to seek my innervision” is the chorus, and pretty much explains where the song is going. I like this song, it’s hard and Serj uses his voice well, but I think the main reason that it became a single instead of some of the other tracks is due to the fact that it’s focus isn’t slamming the government. Too bad, really. If the guys in office heard some of this stuff maybe they’d realize what they’ve become. Probably not, but we could hope.

Moving on, we’ve got a trio of politically charged tracks in “Bubbles”, “Boom!”, and “NuGuns”. “Bubbles” is about the people of America(and a load of other places) being “left with no arms in the power struggle”. This track shares it’s sound with the previous pair, but things get a little different when “Boom!” starts up. The subject of the tune is very anti-large corporation. One line in particular struck me as very powerful: “Four thousand hungry children leave us every hour from starvation while billions are spent on bombs, creating death showers”. The style of this song differs from the previous tracks in that the verses are Serj speaking over a bassline, and the music changes partway through the song, then reverts back just before the end. The title of “NuGuns” more or less explains it’s meaning, and it completes this trio of political tunes.

A pair of darker sounding and powerful songs are up next in “American Dream Denial”(shortened to “A.D.D.” on the track listing), and “Mr. Jack”. “Mr. Jack” is my favourite song on the album. It is a semi-ballad about a serial killer(I’m pretty sure), with a dark sound that fits it’s dark content very well. If it was fleshed out a bit more this song could be made into a book or a movie. Seriously.

There aren’t any huge standouts between “Mr. Jack” and the next song I’m going to mention, but that’s not to say that the songs in between are bad. They’re up to par with anything else on the album, they just don’t stand out quite as much. From the opening guitar squeals, “Fuck The System” keeps your attention. A lot of the song is nonsensical without the aid of a lyrics sheet, but the title is really all you need to be able to see what where System is going with it. This song has some really unique sounds to it, the bulk of which are the ways that Serj manages to contort his voice, which is versatile, to say the least.

The last song I’m going to comment on wasn’t released as a single, although it has previously appeared on the Scorpion King movie soundtrack. “Streamline” is one of the songs that incorporates a new sound, and it does so with style. The main chord is a solid up-and-down sounding piece of work that I absolutely love. It leads into a quieter period during which Serj spouts out the verses, then picks up again. A very unique sound, more so than “Fuck The System”, and fantastic way to end the album.

“Steal This Album!” uses elements from SOAD’s previous two albums, but also shows a progression in the band’s sound that, to me, is a very good sign for the future. With that said, I’m sure you want to hear the verdict.

“Steal This Album!” by System of a Down has snagged itself a 4/5 on the Walrus scale, which, oddly enough, is very similar to other scales rated out of five.

And folks, I know it’s called “Steal This Album!”, but let’s support the guys in System of a Down and pay for album, eh?