Audio Street Sweeper Social Club

October 1, 2009


Street Sweeper Social Club

The sonic anarchist strikes again. For the past couple of years, Tom Morello has been exploring the mellower side of his pissed-off-ness with his acoustic alter ego, the Nightwatchman. You had to assume that his rage would boil over again sooner or later, and that time has come in the form of Street Sweeper Social Club, a collaboration with Oaktown, California’s Boots Riley. Everything we love about Morello is here: crushing riffs, weird noises, gut-punching dynamics, and blazing solos. The harmonics in “100 Little Curses” sound like a cross between Van Halen, the Edge, and Che Guevara. The hypnotic single-note figure in “The Oath” is pure RATM, while that song’s pretty clean chords show Morello’s debt to Jimmy Page. He throws down a classic Whammy pedal freakout in “Somewhere in the World It’s Midnight,” serves up awesome wah-wah retching in “Megablast,” and plays a solo so “normal” in “Promenade” that it sounds positively revolutionary coming from him. Morello describes SSSC as “huge steamroller riffs combined with depth-charge funk while Boots unloads clip after clip of incendiary rhymes rich with satire and venom,” and he’s right on the money. If you like his Rage work or if you’re simply a fan of heavy, creative guitar work that’s played with honesty and balls, you need to check out this record. Another direct hit from the funk-rock freedom fighter. WEA.
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