(Hed)P.E. - Truth Rising
Record Company: Suburban Noize Records
Release Date: October 26, 2010
(Hed)P.E.'s style has always been something of great interest to me. Their ability to mix genres like metal and rap is something to be experienced, while their combination of lyrical content ranging from fornication to political and anti-religion themes is a little confusing, if anything. It's like a mature adult who has sudden, annoying bursts of pure immaturity. And when P.E. sticks to politics, it's genuine music that is a joy to listen to, and you'll definitely find less sex-related songs on this record. Still, the few sexual songs found on here that radiate misogynistic-like lyrics is worth mentioning, and when it comes to listening, worth skipping.
The first actual song "Truth Rising" is one minute of pure aggression, with a more than satisfying rap/scream from the very capable Jared Gomes. "It's All Over" is perhaps the most innovative song on the entire record, featuring high pitched screams, death growls, and a very melodic chorus that's so catchy it begs to be a sing-along. Mix that with some double-bass madness from drummer Trauma and you have a very capable single. "No Rest for the Wicked" the actual first single has a driving sound that's reminiscent of old school P.O.D. and a bluesy guitar solo that really adds to the overall creativity of the song. Using Sevendust lead singer Lajon Witherspoon on "Stand Up" was indeed a ballsy move that could have backfired big time. As it is, it actually works well; the contrast in vocal style between Witherspoon and Gomes is simply fascinating.
"Forward Go!" is a powerful enough track that really lets Gomes loose as he shouts lyrics like "We don't need your religion. It's my life; it's my decision./Two steps forward, one step back, my future's right on track." The fierce delivery is enough to convince one of the lyric's authenticity. However, tracks like "Deep Throat" (a sound clip) is about... well, I think you can imagine the content. Then we move on to the worst track on the album, "Murder", both in content and musically. The lyrics are so bad that they're not worth covering (they also stop this album from receiving an otherwise deserved 8 in lyrics). "The Hed Honcho" (another sound clip) is nothing more than a continuation of "Deep Throat" again an immature down point in the album.
Closer "It's Alright!" is an extremely laid back and fun reggae-influenced fist-pumper of a song. If you're not singing along by listen three, this band is simply not for you. Musically, this album is so broad in style. The band successfully pulls off every single style they try. Metal, punk, rapcore, reggae, you name it. Production is decent enough for the style of music, but nothing magical.
Overall, the good definitely outweighs the minimal bad found here. Of course, some will find the political lyrics a bit preachy and too in your face, but sometimes you need to be a bit preachy. And P.E. includes enough interesting changes throughout to keep any fan of this style interested, and it will definitely still please fans. I hope, eventually, the band will lose the sexual songs altogether. This will allow them to grow tremendously and be taken a lot more seriously. Until that day, this album is definitely a step in the very right direction. Grade: B