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April 20, 1999 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-04-20

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The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 20, 1999 -43

Emperor creates dark sound


As the title of this compilation album may
imply, "Mista Muthafukka" possesses the
potential to offend many. But no matter
whether one finds songs such as "Ass 'n'
Titties" or "Dick by the Pound" either adoles-
cently humorous or downright sexist, no one
can deny the music ability to put any dance-
floor in motion.-
The enormous success of DJ Assault in the
Midwest proves that there is more to these
songs than pornographic content. Along with
other Detroit artists such as DJ Godfather and
DJs such as Disco D, DJ Assault has created a
new musical genre acknowledged by both the
press and the public: ghetto tech.
Otherwise known as
"booty," ghetto tech blends
together the naughty motifs
** of ghetto house artists such
as DJ Funk and Miami bass
DJ Assault artists such as the Two Live
Mista Muthafukka Crew with the techno
Electrofunk sounds of Detroit. The sum
of these elements is a sound
Reviewed by with bass heavy, dancefloor
Daily Arts Writer beats perfect for club play
Jason Birchmeier or slow cruising along with
some nasty rapping
anthems sure to be chanted by many.
"Mista Muthafukka" is a compilation of all
DJ Assault's biggest hits as heard on late night
urban radio mix shows and in the more scan-
dalous clubs. Some of the songs on the album
are poor quality techno-rap hybrids, but most
of the tracks deserve the status of "classic."
All the songs that established DJ Assault and

t) f


to songs with introductions and conclusions.
Other than this issue, the songs also begin to
get a bit monotonous. The same sort of boom-
ing bass and cliched techno get used song after
song, causing many of the songs to sound sim-
ilar with different words. Another problem is
the vocals. Much like a spoken word album, the
novelty and humor of hearing DJ Assault rap
about his accomplishments as a male - as in
"Dick By the Pound" - lose their shock value
DJ Assault's best songs are where he doesn't
even rap but instead just samples an anthemic
chorus and loops it. "Checkstub" is an example
of a song where the vocal loop of a woman say-
ing "let me see yo' checkstub" followed by DJ
Assault saying "get yo' own checkstub" repeat-
ed over and over become rhythmic and even a
bit melodic.
Near the end of the compilation, DJ Assault
makes an announcement, promoting
Electrofunk's newest additions to their roster of
artists. The next few songs include a drum 'n'
bass cover of Erykah Badu's "Tyrone" sung by
a woman as well as a few rap songs sounding a
bit too much like something off Dr. Dre's "The
Besides the occasional poor quality of a few
of DJ Assault's classics, the primarily flaw of
the album is its blatant function as a promo-
tional vehicle. Instead of savoring DJ Assault's
ghetto tech classics, listeners have to bear DJ
Assault's dreams to become the next Master P.
In the end, "Mista Muthafukka" is by all means
an amusing listen, perfect for livening up your
next party but far from a masterpiece.

It is a universally known fact that few -
can really take black metal (a sub-genre
of heavy metal) too seriously. It's easy to
understand why. Black metal musicians
usually dress in medieval style clothing,
often adorning themselves with acces-
sories that include swords, spiked wrist-
bands and decorating their faces with
corpse-like facial paint.
The music doesn't quite, sit too well
with most people in the '90s either, as it
falls somewhere between death metal and

Iron Maiden style
metal, often with a
IX Equilibrium
Century Media
Reviewed by
Daily Arts Writer
Adlin Rosli

"twiddly twiddly"
high pitched singer
screaming like an
angry grandmoth-
Despite such a
negative public
view of the scene,
Emperor, with its
new release "IX
Equilibrium," has
created a collec-
tion of black metal
music that defies

his Detroit-based record label, Electrofunk, are
included such as "Sex on the Beach," "Hoez
Get Naked," "Tear the Club Up," "Checkstub"
and others.
Take for example, "Ass 'n' Titties," the quin-
tessential ghetto tech anthem is there is one.
The song begins with a chant: "Ass, titties, ass
and titties, ass, ass, titties, titties, ass and tit-
ties." Once again, this type of language is
either going to horrify you or make you giggle.
The song progresses for a few minutes with
more colorful language and plenty of booty
bouncing bass beats before coming to a close.
The lack of developed song structure is the
main problem with DJ Assault. His frustrating-
ly short songs are designed for DJs to mix with
other records whereas home listeners are used

the restraints of the genre and at the same
time embraces its best aspects. The group
attacks scene-wide trends and standard
with a full-steam-ahead rage-filled atti-
tude not common to most black metal
Emperor's choice of calling the album
"IX Equilibrium" is apparently a refer-
ence to some dark and cryptic supernat-
ural significance where the number nine
is the held in highest regard. The group
sufficiently lives up to this notion of
reaching a high level with this release.
Singer and guitarist Ihsahn sounds

more intense here than he has on previous
releases. Guitar riffs on "IX Equilibrium"
are also among the harshest and melodic
the band has ever come up with. The riffs
are delivered with sinister precisio.n by
lhsahn and rhythm guitarist Samoth,
The group has also expanded its sonic
assault with the addition of more key-
board lines on this release. Althoughthe
addition works well in carrying on
Emperor's well established knack for the
use of keys to heighten its already dark
sound, on several songs the instruments
get overused. Several already powerful
guitar riffs on the album were more than
capable of conveying Emperor's sinister
moods and get smothered with unneces-
sarv keyboard notes.
Despite the minor keyboard excess, by
the group, "IX Equilibrium" is an alkpi
full of winners in a scene full of lyical
and musical gloom. Yes, Emperois
indeed a black metal band, they do \vear
corpse make up, they do sometimes pose
with swords and big wrist spikes, but after
a listen to the brilliance of "JX
Equilibrium;"no one's laughing.


Souls make punk music fun

They've never appeared on
Saturday Night Live. They've never
played an arena or ballpark. And
they haven't signed a deal with a
big record company.
So what makes the Bouncing
Souls so special? After all, on the
surface, they're just four guys from
New Jersey who play in a punk rock
band. That doesn't sound like the
formula for profound, introspective
music that can rock with the best of
But that's just what the Souls
have proven they can do time and
time again, year after year. They
continue that tradition with their
latest release, "Hopeless
The band's second release on

The Bouncing
Epitaph Records
Reviewed by
Daily Music Editor
Gabe Fajuri

indie giant
E p i t a p h,
" H o p e I e s s
Romantic" isn't
a punk rock
classic; it's no
"Never Mind
the Bollocks."
But it is a good,
solid 13-song
album chock
full of thick

Rad" and "Ole!" fill the silly quota
that accompanies each and every
new Bouncing Souls record. Past
rib-ticklers include "Shark Attack,"
"Your Mom" and "These are the
Quotes From our Favorite '80s
Movies." "Ole!" is a song that
declares the band's unadulterated
love for soccer, and integrates the
Ole cheer that has become the
sport's theme song, into the intro,
chorus and closing moments of the
song. "You're so Rad" is purely
humorous, with lyrics like "You're
so rad/More rad than my Dad/If you
were a fabric you'd be plaid."
On the more serious side of the
record is the title track, "Hopeless
Romantic." The song deals with
everyone's favorite topic, love. It
starts the record off nicely with a
typically quick punk rock guitar riff
and equally speedy rhythm on the
drums. The album's other love song,
if you can call it that, doesn't strike
the same chords, however. "Wish
Me Well (You Can Go To Hell)"
doesn't fail musically, but lyrically.
The call and response pattern
between Souls lead singer Greg and
Kara Wethington would work nicely
in a song about a breakup if
Wethington's voice wasn't so damn
annoying. As soon as the words "I
only want what's best" escape her
lips, two things happen, images of
The Muffs lead singer Kim come to
mind and the skip button on the CD
player gets pressed.
Of all the tracks, though, "Wish
Me Well" is the only one worth

skipping over. The rest of the music
on "Hopeless Romantic" will keep
you singing along and bobbing your
head every time you put it on the
stereo. The highlight of the record
is actually a slower number,
"Bullying the Jukebox." The song
bounces along at an even pace and
talks about taking control of a.juke-
box because "I know other peoples
taste in music sucks." The rhymes
in the rest of the song often times
seem elementary and silly, but the
Souls make it work, turning the
lyrics into the tune's greatest
The record, on the whole, is anoth-
er respectable release to add to the
Bouncing Souls' steadily growing
catalog. It does just what punk rock
was meant to do: deliver a message

loud and clear. Extremely loud and
clear. To date, the band hasn't
released a magnum opus, but each
and every record they put out trans-
lates nicely to the countless live
shows they play. "Hopeless
Romantic" will surely sound even
better in a local club than it does on
a living room sound system.
So what if they're not rock stars.
The Bouncing Souls still know how
to rock.

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Fall/Winter 1999-2000.


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chords, cnanteda
Wchoruses and songs about everyday
life. Numbers like "Kid" and "The
Whole Thing" are classic Bouncing
Souls - lyrics that talk about the
New York punk scene and the music
that fuels the kids who crowd each
and every Souls live gig.
Other songs, like "You're So



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