(A Mediocre) Soundtrack to a Revolution
In recent years â€šÃ„Ã¬ and spurred on by the current political climate â€šÃ„Ã¬ we have seen the rise of many a new anti-establishment artist. From the hosts of MCs on the Definitive Jux label, to punk bands such as Anti Flag and Rx Bandits â€šÃ„Ã¬ heck, even traditionalist piss-n-fart acts such as NOFX and Eminem (Mosh?) â€šÃ„Ã¬ the anti-establishment genre is seeing a surge. Ross Golan & Molehead are part of this recent revival.Reagan Baby, RG&Mâ€šÃ„Ã´s debut album, is a primer in leftist politics 101. Whether tackling issues such as U.S. imperialism and hypocrisy (â€šÃ„ÃºM.I.A.â€šÃ„Ã¹), corporate Americaâ€šÃ„Ã´s uncontrollable avarice (â€šÃ„ÃºMartha Stewartâ€šÃ„Ã¹), or the realization of an Orwellian world now come into fruition (â€šÃ„ÃºBlinded by the Rightâ€šÃ„Ã¹), RG&M have not only done their homework, but wear their political philosophies/criticisms on their sleeves. Perhaps that is why it pains me to give this band a mere half thumb up.
Lyrically, Reagan Baby is spot on. Musically, however, it struggles. Sounding like a nascent version of 311 with its mixture of reggae rap-rock, Reagan Baby finds itself seeking direction. Production-wise, RB is a very simple sounding project as songs range from guitar heavy rock to hip hop to soft sounding melodies. Golanâ€šÃ„Ã´s voice can be exasperating at points as he switches inflections from his dubbed-out, stoner jam-band voice (think Jason Mraz), to his suburban, angst-ridden, high pitched singing âˆšâ€ la Linkin Park. When singing the softer songs, however, Golan proves that he is actually a gifted singer. Unfortunately, most of the songs on RB donâ€šÃ„Ã´t allow him to show this off.
Fans of liberal ideology will surely love this albumâ€šÃ„Ã´s message. The music, on the other hand, may be a different story.