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Street Sweeper Social Club - Self Titled

Released by Warner Music Group, 6/16/09

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Rule #1: Don't talk about Street Sweeper Social Club. Somewhere in the U.S. let alone in the world (hello Iran) there is growing discontent and restlessness that Boots Riley, Tom Morello and Stanton Moore tap into and give validation with their timely self-titled release of Street Sweeper Social Club. Morello brings all his talent and guitar skills from Rage Against the Machine bombarding the temple of your ears while Riley blitzes you with sophisticated and emotional lyrics honed with The Coup mixed with the hardness of their respected communities of Oakland and LA.

The opening track, “Fight! Smash! Win!”, torpedoes with a bass line and a chorus that chimes of insurrection. Boots fires the first salvo with, “And the wealth don't trickle down. People pinchin every nickel now.” The second wave is just as strong and heavy with the track “100 Little Curses” indicating that its no false alarm as Riley lyrically skews aristocrats, “Cuz off the breakin backs of others is where you got all your cash.” Just when you think you've heard the all clear signal “Shock You Again” and “Megablast” hits like a double whammy of hydrogen and atomic bombs on the bunkers of the state and big business. “F*&% big biz and their magistrates. Explode on the scene and smash the state,” Riley declares. “Nobody Moves (Til We Say Go)” has such an elephantine bass line that just a couple of verses and a repetitive chorus does the deed of becoming the song you can't get out of your head.

Street Sweeper Social Club is a weighty album that sheds light on the issues and anger of the exploited and proletariat. The revolution might not be televised but will happen in real-time. And if that's the case, this could be the soundtrack leaving us with Rule #2 of the Street Sweeper Social Club. Rule #2 is to break rule #1.