Street Sweeper Social Club review by Street Sweeper Social Club

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  • Released: Jun 16, 2009
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (36 votes)
Street Sweeper Social Club: Street Sweeper Social Club
4

Sound — 8
Tom Morello is more like a DJ than a guitarist, in terms of how he handles his axe. He utilizes his instrument in a transformative way. His use of white noise allows his guitar to make turntable-style sounds and that's been his signature since Rage Against the Machine burst into the hard rock scene's consciousness in the early 1990s. Morello retains his hallmark hellion sound on Street Sweeper Social Club, while vocalist Boots Riley has frontman qualities that are not dissimilar to RATM's Zack de la Rocha, thanks to his impassioned delivery and how deftly he drops politically charged lyrical science. Therefore, Street Sweeper Social Club has more in common with RATM than Morello's post-RATM project, the much more commercial and much less Fight the Power! Audioslave. Morello still treats his guitar like DJ equipment, cranking out ballistic, bottom heavy riffery that'll get your blood pumping and your head bobbing. 100 Little Curses is a battle ready tune, thanks to its chorus, a smattering of auto-tuned vocals and Morello's neo-bluesy riffs while Clap for the Killers electrifies.

Lyrics — 8
Riley raps. He gets under your skin and into your mind, offering his perspective on a panoply of socially-aware topics. Fight! Smash! Win! is anthemic, boasting groove and rhythmic cadence. While Riley doesn't scream till the veins in his neck bulge like de la Rocha did, his rhymes still convey a boatload of emotion and are vivid with imagery. He does drop plenty of pop culture references, to things like smoking trees, Dolce & Gabbana and Rodeo Drive, throughout the album, which aids in lightening the mood a tad. But there's also plenty of calls to arms, invitations to throw your fists in the air and make a difference. Not one ounce of space is wasted on Street Sweeper Social Club, an album that proves music can be a vehicle for change as much as it can be that which gets your body moving. Morello and Riley want you to pay attention and the rapped lyrics are like warheads aimed at the very cause: capturing your mind, infesting your body and forcing you to think, without bashing you over the head.

Overall Impression — 8
While Street Sweeper Social Club may pay homage to an era gone by, when the mixing of rap and metal was fresh, the album (and the band) have an incendiary, revolutionary tone. The music is modern rather than dated because Riley is a rapper through and through; he's not depositing rapped vocals here and there. It's all he does, which laces the album with that fetching urban flair! It's an inspiring record that not only gets you dancing but it also stimulates your brain, too. Thankfully, Riley has a playful style at times, which prevents the album from ever feeling preachy, as RATM sounded from time to time. Morello and Riley possess chemistry in spades, and the duo is not afraid to rock on Street Sweeper Social Club. If you're still eagerly anticipating a full-bore Rage Against the Machine reunion, Street Sweeper Social Club will be a worthwhile endeavor, as it follows said band's spirit in a thoroughly modern way.

32 comments sorted by best / new / date

    sixsixone__
    Honestly, stop comparing SSSC to RATM. This is a whole new band, and it ****ing rules. I personally like Boots Riley's more laid-back style, paired with Morello's still awesome guitar playing. Promenade's gotta be my favorite so far.
    The Contagen
    morellostheman wrote: rage wont make another album because they cant stand eachother. sssc is good though
    that's not true at all....
    mastaofrocknrol
    Its quite okay, yet not close to RATM. It misses the energy and power that Zach used to give combined with Morello`s weird guitar style what made RATM so good. For all those who miss Zach, go listen to One Day As A Lion (Zach`s side project) I think One Day As A Lion might even be better than RATM.
    courtkid1012
    afromonkeyR0X wrote: There's a lot of focus on Morello and Zack, but does anyone know what's going on with Timmy C. and Brad? Aside from RATM festival shows.
    Have not seen anything with Brad or Tim. I'm looking to find out anything though. All I found was an article with a cool name ("First rule of Street Sweeper Social Club: Fight"). Also, Tim is in a 4 man surfing team for some competition. http://www.dailypeloton.com/displayartic...
    cooljew
    bought the album today...it's quite good and i'm fairly happy with it... but honestly, you have to compare it too rage just because it sounds so similar. i saw tom morello and bootz riley twice when they toured on the nightwatchmen tour, but i never saw street sweeper live. i've got a feeling these songs would be way better live.
    afromonkeyR0X
    There's a lot of focus on Morello and Zack, but does anyone know what's going on with Timmy C. and Brad? Aside from RATM festival shows.
    courtkid1012
    buddyboombotz wrote: I prefer One day as a lion to this. It's more Rage-ish. And Zack is rapping on it.
    It's true. One Day As A Lion has that sick subtractor bass or whatever it is. They put together some good shit. Morello just needs to get back with Rage. None of these bands any of them have gone to have been nearly as good. Audioslave was the only one to come close, and it still was not on the same level as Rage.
    TJ the Gnome
    I saw them live in Charlotte, they were sick. "cuz were not just a band, were a social club..."
    Probly89
    Pretty decent band, saw them open for NIN/JA at a DTE theater show. Funny cover of umbrella! Tom played some pretty mean guitar riffs, never has anyone make such great sounds with little to work with. While Boots brought energy to the stage, his rapping wasn't quite there.
    slush21
    These guys are amazing! They are different from RAGE as they are less heavy than RAGE... but also is almost every other band in the world. In my eyes these guys are probably going to make the best album of the year and best album since the foo fighters last album. Boots Riley brings pure rap and with Morello's guitar it makes beautiful throwback 90's music.
    Maharg
    sixsixone__ wrote: Honestly, stop comparing SSSC to RATM. This is a whole new band, and it ****ing rules. I personally like Boots Riley's more laid-back style, paired with Morello's still awesome guitar playing. Promenade's gotta be my favorite so far.
    I think Promenade live version is far better. It is extended. The album cut was far too short, otherwise it would probably be my favourite track.
    shinnanigan
    This album is awesome. It's quite similar to rages guitar and baselines and frankly I think Boots is a great vocalist. There is some extremely catchy tunes here and I am pumped to here more from them.
    2112lifeson2112
    street sweeper social club, they are more than a band, they're a social club .... they were freaking awesome live, i mean what band can cover Paper Planes by MIA and get the pit to mosh to it???
    Mygeneration93
    i saw street sweeper at one of the ninja tour concerts in conneticutt and they were great, just incredible i cant wait for the new album
    tvotr
    WheredMyRockGo? wrote: mastaofrocknrol wrote: Its quite okay, yet not close to RATM. It misses the energy and power that Zach used to give combined with Morello`s weird guitar style what made RATM so good. For all those who miss Zach, go listen to One Day As A Lion (Zach`s side project) I think One Day As A Lion might even be better than RATM. One day as a lion is nowhere near as good as rage. Neither is street sweeper sc, neither is nightwatchmen, neither was audioslave. I dont understand why Rage doesnt make another album. It makes no sense to me why they would play festival shows together but not make an album. Then they go ahead and make this which could have very easily been a new rage album if they had Zach. None of their other projects are bad but no one has a prayer of igniting a crowd like Rage. That's what I want to see more of. I will never forget seeing them at Alpine Valley, standing in the lawn, and having rows of the pavilion being handed back over my head after they were ripped out of the ground. Priceless.
    Im with ya man. What a good, muddy show.
    WheredMyRockGo?
    mastaofrocknrol wrote: Its quite okay, yet not close to RATM. It misses the energy and power that Zach used to give combined with Morello`s weird guitar style what made RATM so good. For all those who miss Zach, go listen to One Day As A Lion (Zach`s side project) I think One Day As A Lion might even be better than RATM.
    One day as a lion is nowhere near as good as rage. Neither is street sweeper sc, neither is nightwatchmen, neither was audioslave. I dont understand why Rage doesnt make another album. It makes no sense to me why they would play festival shows together but not make an album. Then they go ahead and make this which could have very easily been a new rage album if they had Zach. None of their other projects are bad but no one has a prayer of igniting a crowd like Rage. That's what I want to see more of. I will never forget seeing them at Alpine Valley, standing in the lawn, and having rows of the pavilion being handed back over my head after they were ripped out of the ground. Priceless.
    <SpaceTime>
    YES! Dude its like RATM all over again. Quite frankly I hated audio slave, and since this is closer to RATM than audioslave, I WILL buy it.
    xAxioNx
    morello still powns. every single tune that this man pulls makes me feel high... the reviewer did a good job. just stop to always compare morellos new bands with RATM. There is no goal to make it sound similar (which you all would very adore in your inner soul, i know). RATM is gone.
    Benjami
    i didnt really like the rapping on the tracks i heard (i do like zach's though) but i think i'l give this a try, nice review
    BuffaloBills731
    WheredMyRockGo? wrote: mastaofrocknrol wrote: Its quite okay, yet not close to RATM. It misses the energy and power that Zach used to give combined with Morello`s weird guitar style what made RATM so good. For all those who miss Zach, go listen to One Day As A Lion (Zach`s side project) I think One Day As A Lion might even be better than RATM. One day as a lion is nowhere near as good as rage. Neither is street sweeper sc, neither is nightwatchmen, neither was audioslave. I dont understand why Rage doesnt make another album. It makes no sense to me why they would play festival shows together but not make an album. Then they go ahead and make this which could have very easily been a new rage album if they had Zach. None of their other projects are bad but no one has a prayer of igniting a crowd like Rage. That's what I want to see more of. I will never forget seeing them at Alpine Valley, standing in the lawn, and having rows of the pavilion being handed back over my head after they were ripped out of the ground. Priceless.
    They don't need to write a new album because their existing catalog isn't outdated. All the problems Rage sings about still exist. As much as I love Rage, there is no need to write anything new until new problems arise, or old problems get worse. I have to review SSSC later for my college radio station so i'll post it later.
    bamslis
    I was so dissapointed, with this one. I read a Morello interview before i heard this and he said its going to be heavy as hell (he's even playing in drop-b), well... its not. Its slow, the overall sound is really soft and Boots's vocals just doesn't cut it when you've heard Zach (although he's great with The Coup).
    Morello Wannabe
    The album is freaking amazing, the rap rock style of music is new to me but i have fallen fast for it. Promenade is the best song on the album in my opinion.
    shinnanigan
    lern2swim wrote: Morello's a dick. That is all
    are you kidding? this guy is a social activist advocating for change... out of all the guitarists out there, he's probably the farthest thing from it.