Street Sweeper Social Club Street Sweeper Social Club Review

Album. Released 2009.  

BBC Review

Morello is in fresh, fighting form throughout.

Lou Thomas 2009

Boots Riley and Tom Morello deserve praise for creating an incendiary album of biting, politically charged rock-rap which never lapses into self-importance. Clearly the Oakland, California MC and pioneering Rage Against The Machine guitarist want listeners to party as much as think.

Top party-rock jokers Rocket From The Crypt! are paid tribute to on the mighty, pulverising metal riffola in Fight! Smash! Win!, while the ''Woaoo-oooh!'' chants in 100 Little Curses are as inclusive and hilariously bombastic as Slippery When Wet-era Bon Jovi.

The agitpop pair are in the joke, too as Curses sees Riley rap about an affluent party involving caviar and Dolce & Gabbana-clad patrons before spitting, ''Now your wife's worried face with her horrific expression/you realise she's not worried that's just botox injections.''

Morello is in fresh, fighting form throughout, but that's to be expected from a guitarist who was playing his instrument with wrenches and pencils years ago. In Clap For The Killers he lays down exquisite blues riffs almost as an afterthought to the viscous, robotically twitching and uncompromising riffs peppering the rest of the song.

Stanton Moore's funk-driven drumming may give Shock You Again its momentum, but it's Riley's harrowing Guant‡namo Bay subject matter that sounds out, ''Forget those electrodes are placed inside your mouth, just say what I want when I flip this switch and the light's go out.''

Promenade is the finest revolutionary moment Street Sweeper Social Club manage on this first album. Plump bass, New York funk punk beats, Gnarls Barkley backing vocals and Riley's determination summed up succinctly, ''We can't run, we canÕt hide/ might as well just stay and fight.''

Morello has spoken out about inequality many times before but a time of global recession is the perfect moment to weigh in with a new album of zealous dissent. Street Sweeper Social Club is just right: a spot-on soundtrack to bricking windows and storming the barricades on your way back from the job centre.

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