The other day I ordered Body Count’s Body Count album used from Amazon for a dollar. The album, for those of you that don’t know, is a heavy metal album by a group of black musicians with Ice-T on vocals. It is vulgar, offensive, brimming with intelligence in places, and it is funny as hell. I only bring up the fact that they are black because the issue of race is such a big topic on the record. For instance, the song There Goes the Neighborhood is about whites becoming afraid because black people are playing heavy metal and are showing up the whites. Ice-T is singing in the voice of white people that are watching his band. “That nigga played so good \ he stole my motherfucking girl \ there goes the neighborhood!” There is also a song called KKK Bitch where Ice-T sneaks into a Klan rally and seduces the Grand Wizard’s daughter. This album is both ridiculous and great. We used to listen to this album a lot as kids and laugh and laugh.
Bob Dylan once said something along the lines of Ice-T’s poetry was like throwing horses over cliffs. He meant this as a good thing, that Ice-T was not messing about.
Traveling with Shinyribs I have heard any number of Americana bands that define the term middle of the road. Most of these bands are fronted by singers that couldn’t not sing a cliché if their life depended on it. Dirt roads, whiskey, trucks, girls in trucks, broken hearts, etc., are all combined in what seems like one giant song of sameness. This is all delivered over a bed of bland music that apes music from the past in the lamest way possible. This is music by people that are just sensitive enough to let you know how they feel, but without any real courage to really expose themselves in any kind of real manner. If you are going to try and make me cry, try to make me weep. I swear to God if I hear one more guy sing about a dirt road in a sensitive voice I am going to put my head in a speaker and purposely make myself deaf.
Maybe that’s why after all these years I am returning to the world of Body Count. I want to hear someone that is throwing horses over cliffs. I want to hear someone lay it down. Use your guitar to make a sound that takes the paint off of a barn, expose your soul, say something funny or truly heartbreaking, take a chance and go out on a limb. Just do something that is you and not a pale imitation of the past. I don’t care if you play country music or heavy metal or electronic music. I just want to hear something that lets me know how you see the world. And that is totally fine if how you see the world is partially influenced by an out of control libido and you choose to sing about it in a song called Evil Dick.