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(hed)P.E. - "Back To Base X" (CD)

No cover art found for (hed)P.E. - "Back To Base X" CD

"Back To Base X" track listing:

1. Listen
2. Novus Ordos Clitorus
3. Lock And Load
4. White Collars
5. Get Ready
6. Sophia
7. Peer Pressure
8. Beware Do We Go
9. Daze Or War
10. Sweet Chops
11. So It Be
12. Lets Ride
13. The Chosen One

Reviewed by on July 5, 2006

"Although there are moments of brilliance scattered throughout this effort, those moments are few and far between"

"Back To Base X," the new album from self proclaimed G-Punk pioneers (hed) P.E. is a combination of Hip Hop, Punk, Metal, and Reggae. And although there are moments of brilliance scattered throughout this effort, those moments are few and far between. Suicidal Tendencies as well as Rage Against The Machine influences are prevalent throughout the the album, but it is like playing with a loaded gun when you are being compared to bands that for their time period were considered extraordinarily original and fresh. Especially when today's musical climate is so overpopulated with multitudes of bands - both signed and unsigned -attempting to achieve the same comparisons and sounds.

"Back To Base X" is not a bad album, but at the same time it doesn't really bring any thing new to the table outside of the fact that they have a lyricist that can actually flow. In layman terms that means they have a rapper that actually knows how to rap, a rarity in this genre. But even with front man Jared Gomes's strong lyrical outbursts, you may still find yourself midway through this album thinking, as i did, "musically i have heard this all before, but done so much better." That is not to say that "Back To Base X" doesn't possess a few hot spots that will make the listener sit up and take notice, because it does. Much to my surprise there were times that the album really shined, and when it did, it shined bright. One such instance is the opening track "Listen." This song is a lyrically competent, hip hop inspired, tour de force that concretes Jared's status as a verbally proficient lyricist - the one thing that sets him apart from a lot of performers, past and present - within this style of music. Another high point on this album is the strong Hip Hop, Punk powerhouse "White Collars," which speaks about the pursuit of power and the secret societies that help politicians achieve it. This track stands out as the best Suicidal Tendencies meets Rage Against The Machine effort on the album. "Sophia" is the Reggae influenced anthem of knowledge and its pursuit, which conjures shades of a reggae Tupac coupled with a punk anthem. Last but not least, the classic rap-metal collaboration of "Daze Or War" which may not seem very original, but nevertheless it is a very well written and powerful track.

The bottom line on "Back To Base X" is this: 4 out of 12 to some may not seem bad, but it damn sure ain't good, especially when the 4 tracks listed as your albums hot spots are the best that you album has to offer. But then again i am a prog/power metal head, and I don't feel that this album is really metal at all. So if you are into lighter genre's of music or old school punk meets rap you may well benefit from spinning this disc a few times, but if you are a made for metal through and through type person, like myself, you may want to bypass this album in lieu of something else.

Highs: They have one of the best lyricists ever in this genre of music

Lows: It's all been done before, and in some cases better

Bottom line: "Back To Base X" is a decent effort for fans of this style of music, but I don't foresee new fans of other styles of music being converted by this album.

Rated 3.0 out of 5 skulls
3.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)