CD: Swan Songs
Record Label: A&M/Octone
John Schlesinger said “Hollywood is an extraordinary kind of temporary place.” Robert DeNiro says he only goes to Los Angeles “when he gets paid for it.” Jay Leno said, “If God doesn’t destroy Hollywood Boulevard, he owes Sodom and Gomorrah an apology.” Slithering out of this cauldron like the rumored first cell from primordial soup is a band called Hollywood Undead.
If you haven’t heard of them yet, prepare to be blindsided. The day they created their MySpace profile, several thousand new users signed on. In one week they crested to the top of the MySpace music chart like a wave on the Santa Monica shore. Their first official album called “Swan Songs” was released Sep. 2 by (A&M/Octone Records). They consist of six members identified only by street aliases. Their music is a collision of hip-hop, metal, and rock and sounds like the Beastie Boy’s Licensed to Ill getting pistol whipped by Eminem.
They wear literal masks which possesses a purposeful irony—they claim Hollywood as their home—a kingdom renowned for soul slaughtering superficiality and a characterless tar of stunning beauty. When you watch their posted videos it’s like you’ve been airborne dropped into a liquor store robbery, a nightclub hip-hop show, an adult film movie set, and an alley littered with heroin addicts all combined into one massive county jailhouse burrito.
With brutal lyrics and an energy that is sure to inspire fist fights, civilized society has one more reason to fear our youth. With an intensity and aggression that befits those hell-bent on survival, their chilling anthems engage any pent-up listener rage and echo things like “Let’s watch this city burn!” “The city looks so pretty do you want to burn it with me?” “One nation destroyed under God!” and “The war has just begun!” One wonders if the souls of aborted children have united, incarnated, donned masks, and come to annihilate the living. This album makes political correctness choke on its own blood. One recollects the recent studies that claim that 1 in 4 American teenagers have a sexually transmitted disease and 1 in 5 have a personality disorder.
One certainty is this: this album is so powerful that it has the potential to incite riots. Keep it out of the prisons. Its success is sociologically significant. If the intelligencia has enough humility to get passed their own aversion to its violence and misogynist and listen closely, then it just might force Congress, public schools, and what is left of an American moral compass to do a three penny drop. If you saw them at The Annex in Madison on December 15, you were lucky. The next time they tour through Wisconsin, SWAT may be a venue requirement. This is definitely one to watch--if not for their social significance, then for your own safety.