Sound — 8
Insomnia has inspired so many artists and in spite of the trite subject, it keeps inspiring even more. Following Faithless and a few hundreds other artists of different music genres, (hed) p.e. has discovered what a sleeping disorder is. A new record by (hed) p.e. is called (I bet you guessed already) Insomnia. Known for their love to experiment with different music genres, (hed) p.e. doesn't change in a new record. As the vocalist Jared Gomes describes it, ...it has shades of different colors all at the same time, and that's why it's so powerful. Really, this record turned out to be more intense than their previous album Back To Base X. As per it's insane name, Insomnia is their heaviest up to date and show (hed) p.e. at their angriest. Writing it the guys set out for a darker record with such teachers as the Sex Pistols and Clash. There are almost no reggae and rare chilling songs sound boring against loud angry tracks.
The opener and the lead-off single on the album Suffa sets the pace right from beginning. It is more about hard core and Rage Against The Machine than hip-hop and Jay-Z. Don't Let Me Down is the only happy song. It features classic rockabilly riff, adding to it's fooling mood. Besides, it's almost danceable! Children is based on Buffalo Springfield's For What It's Worth. The cover with election speeches sounds intriguing and the song actually gets a new meaning. Even though I can't call the songs pop or the melodies catchy, (hed) p.e. somehow manage to make you remember the choruses and sing-along after the first listen.
Lyrics — 8
They claim they represent the truth. And they really do -- on any subject without thinking twice if it's too vulgar, rude or containing politicians' speeches. According to the band the world now is a mix of blood, sex and violation -- those three rule our planet and (hed) p.e. are pretty angry with that! First of all, of course, there are songs about war and people leading others to death, but they went a bit further, than just regular moaning about how difficult life is. They are actually very close to making a riot. Even the song Walk On By with seemingly peaceful meaning about just walking by if you don't like something, sounds so aggressive that you seek for a hidden sense in the lyrics. Mirrorbalin' is a manual for a teenage pervert. Make sure your dad isn't in the room before turning this on as this is not your usual Parental Advisory sign! After all it's life and everybody talks about what bothers him.
All through the record Jared Gomes yells like psychotic, which creates the atmosphere of a madhouse. When he rarely rests and sings in a normal voice, it sounds like he just took a pill to calm down.
Overall Impression — 8
I've always wondered -- do they feel special inspiration, suffering from sleepless syndrome? Now I'm sure at least some of them do -- the songs on Insomnia are sometimes so weird and mix so many insane elements, brains in normal condition just can't invent anything like that.
(hed) p.e. sees their aim in music in throwing the questions to the listeners and making them seek for the answer. And they are quite successful at it -- using straight-up lyrics and singing on the calamity issues, the guys make you at least think about the matter and want to learn more and maybe occasion a riot?