Mar 8, 2020

Body Count, Smoke Fairies

By Bob Suehs

BODY COUNT

“Carnivore”

 The seventh release from the Ice-T fronted metal band delivers a strong dose of chunky riffs, feverish groove, and Ice’s trademark rhymage.  

 The song “Carnivore” opens the record appropriately enough and it’s a banger for sure.

 “Point The Finger” features guest vocals from Riley Gale from the Texas thrash band Power Trip.  Musically this one pummels hard and Ernie C’s guitar playing shines on this one.

 Body Count shot a video for “Bum-Rush” has the band taking over a mock TV channel in a fake riot.  

 “Ace of Spades” by Motorhead is performed in tribute to Lemmy and the bands interpretation of this classic track is true to the original version.

 “Another Level” features Hatebreed screamer Jamey Jasta on guest vocals and naturally this one rocks hard.  This song is a tad slower and sludgier in pace and delivers a harder punch due to its slower pace.

 “Colors - 2020” is a remake of a classic Ice-T song from 1988.  This version has updated lyrics and a harder rock edge.  This song tells the story of living in the hood and it’s message is still relevant in 2020.

 “No Remorse” is a low tuned tune with a dark sound and even darker vibe.  “I Refuse to Apologize” is repeated throughout the chorus and explains the theme of this song quite well.  “If You were starving I wouldn’t serve you a hot bowl of shit” is the best line in this song!

 “When I’m Gone” features Amy Lee from Evanescence on guest vocals and this song is loosely based on the death of Nipsey Hussle.  Amy Lee’s vocals on this track add a new sound and dimension to the Body Count arsenal and actually elevate the bands sound to that next level.  This is the only slow song on the record and this is the bands version of a ballad.  Ice sings about wanting people to talk good about him while he’s alive and not wait until he’s dead so allow me to interject my own personal experience with the man.  When Body Count performed at the Mayhem Fest in Bristow, Virginia several years back I ran into Ice just before he took the stage for his performance with Body Count.  Not realizing he was about to take the stage I asked Ice if I could get a  photo with him and his tour manager promptly told me, “NO Photos - Ice has to take the stage!”  Ice stopped, took a photo with me, and then he took the stage.  I was shocked at how nice he was, he held up the show a minute to take a selfie with me and even shook my hand afterwards.  I never forgot how truly kind a gesture that was and I always appreciated him doing that.  

 “Thee Critical Breakdown” The lyrics “I’m Done with the bullshit, I Ain’t Fuckin’ Around No More” is repeated through the chorus of this one and explains the theme of this song quite well.  This entire record is refreshing because in the “woke” “me too” era of America Ice-T is not afraid to be a man, talk shit, and Body Count delivers a healthy dose of testosterone injected Hard Rock on this release.

 “The Hate Is Real” is straight up hardcore, loud, fast, and in your face.  Ice tells it like it is with this one and if you read the lyrics you will learn the realties of life in 4 minutes.

 “6 In The Morning - 2020” is a remake of a 1986 Ice-T song and considered by most to be the defining song of the Gangsta Rap Genre.  This one is a demo and listed as an unreleased bonus track but should be the next single off the record because in 2020 this song has never sounded stronger, real, and true.

 

 

SMOKE FAIRIES

“Darkness Brings the Wonders Home”

 Smoke Fairies are the first UK band to ever release a single on Jack White’s label Third Man Records.  “Darkness Brings The Wonders Home” is the bands first release in four years.

 Sonically dark, lyrically soulful, and moody with slight groans of discontent, the latest release from Smoke Fairies has a vibe all it’s own.  

 “On The Wing” opens the record on a dark note and “Elevator” brings a slightly edgier vibe with it’s thin yet distinct guitar riff.

 “Disconnect” is deliciously lo-fi and slightly reminiscent of 90’s rock act Elastica.  

 “Chocolate Rabbit” is slightly reminiscent of The Cramps in vibe alone and “Chew Your Bones” is melancholy with it’s introspective lyrical content.

 This band does rock quite hard but they keep it to a minimal level so they don’t get lumped into the same category as ever other rock band.  The vocals are beautiful, the songs are well written, and at times I feel like a punchy, heavily distorted guitar tone could add just a little balls in some moments on this record.  That’s just my opinion thought and I adore what the band has created on this release, it’s a well written, well played record from start to finish.