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(Hed) p.e. Truth Rising

'Truth Rising' is the eighth studio album from Californian Rap/Metal quintet (Hed) p.e, and sees the band implausibly attempting to bring down the New World Order using the power of 'their brand of hardcore' as a weapon. Musically this treads a similar path to previous albums, part 'System Of A Down' weirdness to equal parts stale Hip Hop and Hardcore/Punk, whilst lyrically the main themes are mostly David Icke-friendly rants against the N.W.O. and capitalism, or puerile ditties designed to appeal to sex-obsessed teenage boys.

With eight pointless intros/outros and the rest of the album comprised mostly of a dated mish-mash of uninspired hip-hop, metal and punk which lacks originality or cohesiveness, it's hard to imagine (Hed) p.e bringing down the New World Order with the potency of their music or message. A more effective use of 'Truth Rising' would be to blast it at any political enemies just as the US did to General Noriega back in 1989/90 (funnily enough, rumour has it that (Hed) pe's track 'Swan Dive' has already been used by the US military for such purposes).

The biggest problem with 'Truth Rising' is that the band seems to be in the midst of an identity crisis, unable to decide whether they want to be seen as a serious Rage Against the Machine type of band or party-loving horndogs. Tracks 'Takeover' and 'Murder' are two good examples of (Hed) pe's penchant for lasciviousness, and whilst they may serve to have pre-pubescent boys sniggering at the naughtiness, both tracks are generic wannabe gangsta rap and severely undermine whatever 'serious' message the band are trying to convey with the rest of the album.

Of the rest of the album the chorus of 'Children Of The Fall' could be by Korn, 'No Rest For The Wicked' has a nice bluesy breakdown in the middle and stands out as the kind of thing a Corporate Avenger and Stuck Mojo collaboration might sound, while 'No More Secrets' sounds like George Clinton jamming with System Of A Down. (Hed) pe are at their best on 'Truth Rising' with the more straightforward metal tracks like 'This Fire', when they leave the childish posturing out and stop trying to impress with their musical eclecticism.

So, are (Hed) pe now a 'serious' band of politically influenced conspiracy theorists or puerile sex-obsessed misogynists? Either way, it does seem that the band may be past their sell-by date and it's hard to envisage them ever being taken seriously when lyrics such as "We warriors fight for the light, in the darkness, in the right time" share space with pearls like: "I got the power to make your pussy flower, I stay hard for hours".