Happy Friday the 13th! Now are you ready to be scared out of your underwear? Chris Cornell just made a crunk album. I am not kidding. That horror awaits you in my newest batch of Metromix reviews. I also threw some conscientious punk from Propagandhi to help you through the pain and suffering. Because there is lots to go around. Why, Chris, why?
Chris Cornell, Scream
There is no easy way to say this: This is not a good effort. Cornell’s once-proud pipes are practically buried in Timbaland’s digital disco. From the opening flourishes of “Part of Me” to the club stomp of “Watch Out,” “Scream” offers the opposite of what its title promises. Not that Cornell can’t do hip-hop: The mind reels at what his voice could have added to the swirling soundtracking of the Bomb Squad, or even Dr. Dre. But whether it’s the Auto-Tuned R&B of “Sweet Revenge” or the crunk-lite of “Get Up” or the overt balladry of the title track, there is little on “Scream”—save perhaps the straight-ahead pop-rock of “Climbing up the Walls”—to scream about. MORE @ METROMIX
Propagandhi, Supporting Caste
If you’re a skateboarder, mosh pitter or just an individual looking to let off some serious steam, this is the disc for you. “Dear Coach’s Corner” kicks off with a sample of hockey pundits before careening with abandon into some of the heaviest thrash heard this millennium so far. The title track is a runaway train of simply kinetic drumming and Black Flag–like shrieks from founders Jord Samolesky (drums) and Chris Hannah (vocals), while stunning stomps such as “Night Matters” and “Potemkin City Limits” threaten to unspool into sonic carnage at any moment. Things slow down only on closer “Last Will and Testament,” but only long enough for an untitled hidden track that freaks out with aplomb. There is never a dull moment on the refreshing headache of “Supporting Caste,” and that is a good thing.
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