~reviewed by Matthew
A DJ and promoter friend of mine had always
spoken very highly of this Seattle group, but until recently, I never had
the pleasure to actually hear their music. All the hype, it seems,
is very well warranted.
“Terminal” is SMP’s third release and
the band has continued along the unique paths they forged on their previous
pair of releases “Ultimatum” and “Stalemate.” Taking elements of
dark electronics, Industrial, trip hop, and aggressive r & b, SMP stand
alone in the type of music they create.
What I like most about the band, besides
their unwarranted aggression, is the band’s sense of rhythm and groove,
which is best complimented by a ‘rap’ vocal style that volleys with venomous
rasping and punkish screams. The band’s reputed vocal style was what
originally stalled my discovery of SMP, as I have never taken to well to
most rap music (barring some old skool Public Enemy or newer Cypress Hill
when I am in an extremely ODD mood) nor have I enjoyed when it is integrated
into dark rock or metal music, let alone Industrial. However, before
melodrama raped the contemporary rap music scene, rhythm was indeed a focus.
And before the current 4/4 thud thud thud craze began to dominate the club
scene, rhythm was a focus here too. SMP fuses both of these different
forms of rhythm together in a way that does not only seem natural, but
as it such styles were destined to be compliment each other.
The musical backdrop is loaded with memorable
drum loops, organic percussive attacks, grating noise/feedback, political
or tongue in cheek samples, and an overall complex melting pot of
contemporary Industrial elements.
SMP’s reputation has also placed them
amongst some of the most energetic, intense, and awe-inspiring live acts
active in the underground today. Though I have not seen the band
myself, I cannot even begin to calculate how many times I have heard buzz
about their live shows which feature several drummers bang the living hell
out of their instruments and whatever else they can find that would serve
as percussion, not to mention a great deal of theatrics on part of the
dueling vocals and use of power tools and random and dangerous objects.
This newest release contains 17 tracks
and clocks in at well over an hour. It took me a few listens to really
grasp the band and get into the CD, but once I got used to the band’s style,
I began to appreciate them much more than I ever thought I could.
Each song stands alone, and contains its own catchy loop or sample or vocal
rant that will stick to your psyche quite a bit. There is even a
unique cover of “Pictures Of You” from the mastermind of Danny Elfman/Boingo.
“The Grid” and “Mutate” stand out as my two favourite tracks, however the
CD is a release that calls for continuous spins as a whole, and by focusing
on particular tracks, you inadvertently miss out on the mammoth effect
of the complete work presented.
This is truly an excellent release in
the Industrial and Electronic genre, if you are inclined and brave enough
to try to limit the music of SMP to fit snuggly there alone. The
truth is, SMP are not exactly pioneers, but they are certainly riding a
wave of their very own and as simple as it can be put, they have done fans
of this music a great service with the ingenuity and one of a kind nature
of their sound and performances, as it introduces a breath of untainted
air into the lungs of rivet heads and dark electronic music fans alike.
1.) Last Start
4.) The Grid
5.) Pictures Of You
6.) File 484
7.) Sheet Metal
17.) Necron 99
Jason Bazinet: programming, vocals, drums
Sean Ivy: programming, vocals, drums,
Matt Sharifi: drums and programming
Jeremy Moss, Lance Hayes
4505 University Ave. NE
Seattle WA 98105 USA
1106 E Republican
Seattle, WA 98102 USA