(hed) p.e.
"New World Orphans"

(Suburban Noize 2009)(hed) p.e. - New World Orphans

It's really, really tough to get past the lyrics on "New World Orphans." Seven albums in, and the stuff that Jared Gomes spits out is just as insipid and childish as ever. Fancying themselves "prophets of truth" and "warriors," (hed) p.e. set out to prove this by concocting the most insultingly horrendous rhymes you've ever heard in your life. Nearly every line is laughable, and shallow, posturing; deep topics being explored include plenty of 9/11 conspiracy theorist claptrap, homophobia, the fact that the band is far tougher than you, and even date rape. How fun.

And that's kind of a shame, because the music itself on "New World Orphans" really isn't all that bad. At the very least you can't accuse (hed) p.e. of sounding like a lot of the other crap circling the toilet bowl of metal. The main thrust is metal-based, but the band weaves in and melds together a myriad of other genres and styles, managing to pull it off convincingly more often than not. The rap and hip-hop influence is ever-present in Gomes' delivery, but you'll hear punk, reggae and funk creep in and even take over songs. It isn't often you hear an album that combines double-bass driven, brutal metal with laid back surf rock in the same song ("Planet X"). And while "New World Orphans" continues the tradition of the band dipping into many different styles, here the guitar tone is much more raw and punk-minded, a welcome addition to the group's bag of tricks.

It's tough to see how clever (hed) p.e.'s music can be at times when the cringe-inducing lyric per song ratio is so astronomically high. "New World Orphans" is just filled with the kind of face-slappers that bands tend to grow out of; you'd think that songs demanding George Bush leave the White House would have went out of style when his presidency ended over a year ago. Although, on "Insomnia," Gomes implored us to "Wikipedia that shit" regarding lyrics we might (inconceivably) not understand. Now, apparently, we'd be better off if we "Youtube that shit." Progress?

C

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