Looking for the summer's most rebellious rock outfit? The search might be over. Take the crisp, satirical rhymes of Boots Riley, and the innovative, sharp riffs of Tom Morello and there you have it: Street Sweeper Social Club. Featuring Riley on vocals, Morello on guitar/bass, and drummer Stanton Moore, SSSC's self titled debut provides an extra adrenaline rush of danger that every music junky should feel pulsing through their bodies when the moment's right.
It should come as no surprise that Morello and Riley have found a perfect sort of middle ground between rock and hip hop. As a member of both Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave, Morello has won numerous Grammy Awards, and has sold over 30 million albums over the course of his career. As the leader of The Coup, Riley has had his fair share of accomplishments as well. The Coup is a highly acclaimed band that has made its' presence known in the top 10 lists of well-established newspapers and magazines throughout their career. Such a collaboration should have happened a long time ago.
Serving as the album's lead single, "100 Little Curses" packs the kind of aggression that could make the most joyful, naive person in Disney World question society's norms. Singing "May your Ferrari breakdown/May your chauffer get high", Riley rocks scornful lyrics with a forceful tone, while Morello's battle riffs make you want to do more than just nod your head in agreement. By the time the song ends, expect nothing more than your fist in the air as you chant for change. Better keep that arm up, because the call for revolution does not end there. "Fight, Smash, Win" and "Nobody Moves (Till We Say Go)" are two other anthemic tracks that express desire for an alteration in the structure of society.
On the other note, SSSC's "Promenade" might be a more calmer track than fans of Morello and Riley might be used to, but don't expect it to be as leisurely as its' title presumes. Distinguishing itself from the other tracks on the album, Riley notably tones down the hostility in his vocals, and Morello's violent strumming finds its' way to something that's steady and more diverse. Although not nearly as forceful as the other tracks on the album, "Promenade" is far from a tranquil, strolling song. We suggest listening to on repeat as you won't get another chance to "relax" until "Good Morning, Mrs. Smith."
It's nice that these two unstoppable collaborators have gotten together. Just don't expect to relax too much over the course of the album. Street Sweeper Social Club is the album hard rock fans will sympathize with after a taxing day in the streets of NYC. Forget therapy. Just scream and curse along. We swear its' good for you. - Lonnie Nemiroff