Thursday, 16 February 2017

Review: Hotbox - White Trash EP [January 2017]

Every decade has its stand out genres; the 60s had motown and garage rock, the 70s had glam rock and disco, the 80s had punk and synth pop and the 90s had Brit Pop and grunge. For the late 90s and early 2000s, kids were starting to get into rap-metal and nu-metal. Although it may seem dated now, it still has its fans and none are more obvious than this band.

Hailing from South Israel (Arad/Beer Sheva), Hotbox, the country's answer to Californian outfit Hed PE aka (hed) Planet Earth aka (həd) p.e., have done a lot for the Israeli underground scene, teaming up with bands of various genres to put on guerrilla shows and even their own festival using their own equipment. After some wait, the band have released their new EP, White Trash. 

Most of the songs on White Trash (and the band's repertoire in general) have that same bouncy groove and macho flavour as the aforementioned Hed PE. In particular, first full track, Rap Guillotine, has a riff that sounds identical to that of Killing Time. I won't say it's a rip off, as I am fully aware that these things can sometimes happen (I once realised I had almost totally rewritten a TAD song and pretty sure I hadn't even heard it before) but many may see this as a little unoriginal. I happen to love Hed PE, so it's hardly a bad song to bare similarities to, in my opinion.

The rest of the EP stays with that Juggalo-metal type vibe with lyrics mostly containing expletives (motherfucker, shit, bitch etc..) and both sexually explicit and aggressive language in general. The band's MC, Cise2 (or..Dave), certainly has a fast Bionic Jive-like delivery but the lyrical content tends to be a little cliché most of the time. It's only by the last two tracks, Ugh! and Use A Friend, where a little bit more thought seems to have been put into his words. Whereas the former is still an angry track which anyone who's ever hated their job would relate to [raises hand], the latter is a more heartfelt ode to a friend who passed away. I say friend, there are signs that it is in fact about an actual pet dog as a opposed to "my dawg". Either way, the more meaningful lyrics teamed with a passionate vocal delivery on top of a laid back yet still heavy groove make Use A Friend the EP's stand out track. 

It's quite difficult to make music like this in this day and age, so Hotbox certainly get credit for not giving a fuck and playing what they love. Alongside punk and hardcore, I have a soft spot for rap-metal, so I see them as bringing something a little different to the scene out here. White Trash has a decent production and is fun for those who already love this genre. However, if they actually want to get anywhere and gain any recognition based on their music, they need to start bringing something new to the table. 


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