CD reviews

 Uncategorized
Oct 052004
 
Authors: Nichloas LoFaro

Fahrenheit 9/11 (Songs and Artists That Inspired the Film)

If you build it, or bomb it, they will come. Michael Moore’s

critically acclaimed documentary film now has music to parallel its

message. It is clear in this day and age that Moore has an

established name in politics as well as in popular culture. It is

also clear that his message has influenced many different people,

been hit with negative opposition and praised with positive

support. This album is a collection of big names in entertainment,

making music to support his cause. Even listeners unsupportive of

Moore’s campaign can at least appreciate that half the album’s

proceeds go to the Fallen Patriot Fund, helping military families

of those who were injured or killed in the current Iraq

conflict.

The music is eclectic, and hits on every genre of music. Bob

Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, two veterans of rock n’ roll, start

out the compilation with their stories about American patriotism.

Two members of the former band Rage Against the Machine, boost the

message on Moore’s soundtrack. Tom Morello, a.k.a. the

Nighwatchman, plays solo on the surprisingly Johnny Cash-like,

guitar/harmonica song “No One Left.” Zach de le Rocha is solo as

well on the Rage-like screamer “We Want It All.” On the song Rocha

vents: “Someone’s at my door screaming hate is love and fiction is

fact/honesty is deceit/that silence is security and war is

peace.”

Little Steven’s reggae on “I Am A Patriot,” states: ” I only

know one party/its name is freedom.” Although over-played, the

Black Eyed Peas’ ballad “Where is the Love?” holds onto its

meaning, while the timeless rock song “Fortunate Son,” by John

Fogerty, is still amazingly applicable to the present state of the

new war, over thirty years after it was written.

The Dixie Chicks’ “Travelin’ Soldier” is a sad story of a young

girl in love with a soldier who’s not home. Calling all punk

rockers, the Clash command you to “Know Your Rights.”

Fahrenheit 9/11 has a nice collection of contemporary artists

and their perspectives, and will no doubt end up becoming a

timepiece soundtrack.

Helmet, “Size Matters”

The hits come heavy and size does matter on Helmet’s anticipated

fourth album. Helmet is as heavy as they are intelligent. The band

was spawned out of Berkeley College of Music in Boston with music

degrees galore, and over the past decade has created some of the

smartest progressive heavy metal out there with the likes of Tool

and Queens of the Stone Age.

Every inch of “Size Matters” is crafted for destruction. The

percussion beats harder than a Salvation Army drum, and the

distorted, choppy guitar and bass riffs will leave your neighbor

with a new definition of noise. Helmet continues to hold onto their

heaviness, but they have added some new tricks to the game. The

grinding vocals have improved and melody prevails in almost every

chorus. One thing hasn’t changed for Helmet, their cynicism.

On the single “See You Dead,” chunky guitar lines break into

loving lyrics: “I could miss you more right now or I could slit

your throat.” Oh, how sweet! The sarcastic “Everybody Loves You” is

out for vengeance, and the tone gets even meaner on the closing

song “Last Breath” when they scream: “Your last breath on earth is

all I can take.”

Helmet is lots of fun, in a contemptuous sort of way.

You can here more of Helmet on KCSU 90.5 FM

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