Founded on November 24, 2016 and from Milwaukee, Wisconsin the duo Guerilla Ghost is a collaboration between Chuck Jones of The Beholder and Import/Exporter (vocals) and Martin Defatte of Volunteer and Tron Jovi (production). Their debut EP Tomi Lahren Better Shut Her Mouth… was released in February of this year, there is also another single Make AmeriKKKa Great Again and this is their debut album.
Lo-fi beatbox rhythms underpin Applying Binary To Everyday Situations. Sparse to the point of skeletal the music is made from an amalgamation of sounds that provide a solid basis for Chuck Jones to reel off Rap lines in an almost indifferent way as he states the truth of what he sees around him: sneering and intelligently caustic. The production of Martin Defatte adds a dimension of dislocation and alienation along with being able to make use of a few elements to create a soulful urban background sprawl (much in the vein of Guerilla Ghost‘s influences). The bass booms, wobbles and flips while a scant few notes played on guitar provide a counterpoint, Chuck J fills in the gaps and this first tune grooves on wheels made from broken glass and rusted nails because this isn’t some Gangsta Rap shtick aimed at the charts and getting the ‘hoes’. Naked On The Internet takes a look at the need for validation and lack of esteem for those who live their lives vicariously in the virtual dimension. A simple guitar riff paired with a raw vocal approach brings a strong hint of a Godflesh influence into view and the beats are less Hip Hop and more along the lines of Industrial Metal. This comes across as being less intense, sound wise, than Revolting Cocks / Ministry but has as much impact. The backing is relentless while Chuck J chops between regular vocals and spitting rhymes like bullets. The breakdown makes for an interesting contrast: big production, all sparkly, bleepy and wonderful, over which the truth (“Naked on the internet”) is stated repeatedly. Undeserving Of A Proper Title is trashed Gangsta Luv – bass heavy and dark with more than a touch of sarcasm. It has all the lyrical clichés that you expect from ‘talented’, chart clogging artistes and all the rides on top of a grunged up Hip Hop soundtrack. Next up is Nuclear. Sad. Nuclear. – more sarcasm this time married with nihilism to give a ‘Lost Generation living in a direction-less world’ personality to the lyrics. Offsetting the low-end bias of the music is the persistent hi-hat which twitches like the second hand of a malfunctioning clock and the sparse blips. Chuck J spits out his litany for the dispossessed with the bile it deserves, the backing vocals sounding like a choir of the brain-washed acolytes blindly believing that all they have in front of them is a future filled with failure. For the penultimate track we get a lighter side of the Milwaukee duo, Let’s Get Physical abusing the 80s hit by Olivia Newton John (look her up on Wikipedia). This is the bastard, scum-sucking brother of the Pop ‘classic’ – a nightmare version which eschews almost any resemblance of its (profoundly) better known counterpart. The grinding swells of the bass ride alongside the skeleton rhythm. Some of the rap doesn’t seem to have any purpose other than to fill up space – this is obviously part of the joke – but overall the lyrics are just a catalogue of the ridiculous and overtly sexual rationality which Rap is well known for (“No training wheels, You better learn to ride!”). My Heart (The Death Threat) finishes off this album with questions about gender and politics but it also has an intensely dark side to it also. The politics of social interaction set within a soulless world were worth comes from lies and grotesque public displays of social bigotry. The music backing this up is a weird concoction of grooving Hip Hop and A Nightmare On Elm Street theatrics.
Six tracks of Metal mangled Hip Hop / Rap and maybe that is all that can be endured – there are no segues or skits to break up the flow. It has more of an impact being only six tracks though and the listener is left with a feeling of having entered a universe of sarcasm loaded sentiment and biting satire which doesn’t compromise. This is definitely a release for those of you who don’t mind searching out Metal inflected artists who have something to say about the world and who can get beyond the high profile face of Rap. An exciting prospect for Chuck J and Martin Defatte to explore the distorted in the everyday media lauded trash we have become accustomed to.
This is the debut album of a Milwaukee duo - the members of the group each having careers in Hip Hop / Rap before now. They meld together classic Hip Hop / Rap and Metal to create something of a hybrid nature.