It was five years before “Three Dollar Bill, Yall” and 16 years before “Swan Songs”, the debut Hollywood Undead album. One year after the controversial self titled debut album, the soundtrack of the film “Judgement Night” bought together several rock and rap/hip hop artists and set a new trend in mixing opposite musical genres. Body Count, the rock/metal band of the (in)famous rapper Ice-T it’s definitively one of the reference points of crossover. Although, they might be inspired by artists such as Bad Brains, Living Colour, Mordred, Suicidal Tendencies, Faith No More, etc they inspired and bought to life a generation to follow.
The debut album was originally set to be distributed under the title Cop Killer, named for the song of the same name, which criticizes police brutality and after the release the Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas launched a campaign to force Warner Bros. Records to withdraw the album finally entitled Body Count and released on March 10, 1992 – just months before the L.A. riots. “Body Count” it’s a flawless album where punk, rap, rock, hip hop and thrash metal are melting into one.
It was followed by “Born Dead” in 1994, “Violent Demise: The Last Days” in 1997, with a considerable gap “Murder 4 Hire” in 2006 and now we’ve got chapter 5, “Manslaughter” (smart reference back to “Body Count”) released on June 10, 2014 by Sumerian Records and produced by Will Putney (credited for working with artists such as Asking Alexandria, Poison The Well, Thy Art Is Murder, Miss May I, Came As Romans, etc).
Releasing quite irregularly records, Body Count it’s finally back and BC offering, just like its predecessors, the same mixture of elements and genres: hardcore, street-punk, rap-rock, and thrash metal. And once again, people will be offended by what Ice-T has to say.
Since the previous descent two new members have joined the band: rhythm guitarist Juan of the Dead and drummer Ill Will.
So, BC in da house again! “Talk Shit, Get Shot” kicks in like a tornado, a well crafted riff, banging drums and Ice-T spitting furiously. No better opening can be imagined. Kicks ass brother! Love the heavy tones of those riffs and all that hardcore feel.
“Pray For Death” feels like a Slayer butchery and that old school thrash metal flavor merged with hardcore bangings simply grind you into the ground. No time to breath so far.
“99 Problems BC”. Some – idiots – think that it’s a Jay-Z cover, while actually Jay-Z covered an original Ice-T song from 1993 and now BC took it back. Just a classic and love this new version with all that rapping and that fat guitar riff.
“Back To Rehab” it’s like a classic, furious hardcore, pretty hard to stay foot and not to bang and jump around like a maniac.
The title track, “Manslaughter”, it’s a bloody massacre. Intense, heavy and banging. Thrash metal with hardcore resonances in pure BC style. The main riff have again some Slayer flavor – which is awesome. They slow it down a little bit at the middle, but it’s only make it even heavier. But that riff should be banned. It’s too damn dangerous. Although “Manslaughter” it’s not about killing or murdering people, but about loosing ourselves, it’s about dehumanization.
“Get A Job” keeps the adrenaline level high, it’s a classic hardcore punk grinding throughout. Straight, simple and furious. Now you really got to get a job motherf*cker!
“Institutionalized 2014” it’s a nice cover-reference-reiteration of the classic Suicidal Tendencies song “Institutionalized” from their eponymously titled debut album 1983. Madly lovely and somehow Ice-T managed to get into the character of Mike Muir close enough. If you have anger issues as we all do, this is the song to raging on an release your fury, break some stuff!!
Featuring Jamey Jasta (of HATEBREED, ICEPICK, KINGDOM OF SORROW) “Pop Bubble” bring back the thrash metal flavor and heaviness. Jamey screams like his life depends on it and the riffs are bone cutting chainsaw machines.
“Enter The Dark Side” slow things down almost to the doom/sludge level building upon a wicked bass riff by Vincent Price’s and some classy Ernie C signature riffs and solos. Slow, but brutal.
“Bitch In The Pit” – the title tell all, it’s a fast, banging song, the chorus sounds freaking familiar and definitively this will be a live favorite for gang screaming and jumping.
“Black Voodoo Sex” feels like a follow up of the 92’s “Voodoo”. The “original” one was stronger, but this is good enough for those who were not born back those days…
“Wanna Be A Gangsta” tells you not to become a gangsta. Simply like that! It’s half way a classic hip hop/rap anthem, half way a punk-rock anthem. So, it’s pure and ass kicking BC!
“I Will Always Love You” have a suspiciously melodious chorus while the verses are build upon heavy guitar riffs and the song it’s dedicated to the soldiers who – as they say – defend their country. Although i think it’s quite arguable how American (British, France, Polish, Romanian, etc) soldiers defend their homeland by occupying Afghanistan or Iraq, but this is another subject to debate some other time!
Finally we’ve got another (rock) version of “99 Problems BC”. The plus guitar it’s awesome and make the song further heavy!
01 – Talk Shit, Get Shot
02 – Pray For Death
03 – 99 Problems BC
04 – Back To Rehab
05 – Manslaughter
06 – Get A Job
07 – Institutionalized 2014
08 – Pop Bubble (Featuring Jamey Jasta)
09 – Enter The Dark Side
10 – Bitch In The Pit
11 – Black Voodoo Sex
12 – Wanna Be A Gangsta
13 – I Will Always Love You
14 – 99 Problems BC (Rock Mix)
No use to compare it with the standard 1992 self-titled debut, but definitively “Manslaughter” it’s a killer BC record, no fills, no worthless moments on it, just pure juice and fury.
Buy it or steal it, mandatory!!