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(hed)P.E. - "Truth Rising" (CD)

(hed)P.E. - "Truth Rising" CD cover image

"Truth Rising" track listing:

1. Silence Is Betrayal
2. Truth Rising
3. It's All Over
4. The Capitalist Conspiracy (Intro)
5. No Rest For The Wicked
6. This Fire
7. Takeover
8. Stand Up (feat. Lajon Witherspoon of Sevendust)
9. Beijo Na Boca
10. Menina
11. Universal Peace (Intro)
12. Forward Go!
13. Bad News
14. Deepthroat (Intro)
15. Murder
16. The Hed Honcho (Intro)
17. Children Of The Fall
18. Enough Secrecy (Intro)
19. No More Secrets
20. Whitehouse
21. We Are The Ones (Intro)
22. It's Alright

Reviewed by on November 16, 2010

"Jared Gomes seems to think he can be both Zach de la Rocha and Luther Campbell (or at least Fred Durst), but it just doesn't work."

"Truth Rising," by rap-rockers (hed)P.E. shows off the truth in the maxim that just because you can do a bunch of things, it doesn't follow that you can do them all at once — at least not well. Mixing Rage Against the Machine rap-rock-with-a-message, Motorhead-speed punk and 2 Live Crew-style rhymes, the album basically throws way too many balls in the air for the band to catch.

I have to give credit where credit is due. The first 10 minutes or so of the album mix punk rock with angry, nu-metal-style rapping from Jared Gomes and industrial-style creepy samples about conspiracies to incredible effect. The single, "No Rest For The Wicked" and the next track, "This Fire" both have some great riffing, courtesy of guitarist Jaxon Benge.

With "Takeover," the full-on rap track in which Gomes lets us know he's "got the power to make your pussy flower," it all starts to fall apart. Jared Gomes seems to think he can be both Zach de la Rocha and Luther Campbell (or at least Fred Durst), but it just doesn't work. Any sense that this band has anything of importance to say is wiped out by the silliness of tracks like "Takeover," "Deepthroat" (in which a sex therapist discusses how to go down on a well-endowed man) and the followup "Murder," featuring a female vocalist begging for sex.

As the album continues, it regains some of its oomph, and the President Obama-sampling finale, "It's Alright" has Benge, Gomes and crew successfully blending reggae and punk. Still, the intermittent silliness has wrecked the message's credibility.

With a tighter approach, emphasizing the serious message of tracks like "It's Alright," "No Rest For The Wicked" and "Whitehouse," (hed)P.E. could have created a much better album. Unfortunately, sex-humor silliness pervades too much of "Truth Rising" to make it one to recommend to anyone other than fans of the band.

Highs: "No Rest For The Wicked," "It's Alright" and "This Fire."

Lows: "Deepthroat," "Murder" and "Takeover."

Bottom line: Sex-humor silliness wrecks what could've been an excellent album with a timely message.

Rated 2 out of 5 skulls
2 out of 5 skulls

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)