A hardened New York Rapcore group try to usher in a new era for a long forgotten genre.
The White House Band
It would seem that there has been a generation that has gone without a recognizable, enjoyable and musically talented rapcore and rap metal band. Where in the early nineties these bands were aplenty, Cyprus Hill and Rage Against the Machine were the industry leaders, now it would appear the market is more focused on either side of the fence, rap or metal. Hoping to buck this trend are White House Band who have released their latest EP The Stimulus Package
Back in the hazy, long gone days of the early 1990s and beyond, the world of popular music was vastly changing. Long gone were the pseudo androgynous bands of the new romantics and in their place was a much more focused, genre defining series of acts that cared little for transposing themselves across multimedia formats. The girl and boy groups were still in their infancy, hard rock had gone the way of the dodo, all to the tune of Bryan Adam’s caterwauling and grunge was the new everything.
It is no surprise then that with the emerging hip hop scene, a fiery and charged form of music that was still arguably purist, far from the overproduced “Fergulicious” nightmare it has become today. Bands such as Cyprus Hill, Rage Against the Machine and Body Count found their voice and the willing ears of millions around the globe in the form of blistering, hard guitar riffs to the tune of the deeply moving, hard lesson lyrics of traditional rappers.
And so it came to pass that this form of musical protest, a classic being Body Count’s more than controversial “Cop Killer”, was quietened. Not silenced of course but merely curtailed, washed up in the wave of highly pristine, shiny hip hop made for the people not by the people but how the people were viewed from the glistening towers of L.A record labels.
So, with a guaranteed format and a glaring hole in the market, White House Band bring a formidable arsenal into battle. With this, their second major EP release, The Stimulus Package invites the listener into a hardened, head thrashing world that it perhaps had forgotten all about.
The opening tracks, “Wassup” and “Grown Ups” are traditional rapcore numbers, their pounding lyrics, potent and dangerously realistic, exalted above thrashing drums of Elder Merchant and lighting guitar of Fernando Martinez. David Beats, the gravel voiced, attitude ladened vocalist continues his tour de force throughout the six tracks of the album with continual force, conviction and passion that had come to be expected of a band plying their trade in both the modern industry and this genre in particular.
One particular highlight of the EP comes in the form of the fourth track, “That’s My Ish”. Forming a cerebral bond throught the six minute musical mayhem, the talents of the band are clearly placed on display as being viciously raw and delightfully stripped down to basics. Merchant’s ear shattering drum solo half way through make the listeners weep, all in the best way of course. His percussion partner, Corey Lonas’ obvious engineering talents backstage are also brought to the fore during this track, his bass and tempo at the heart of the whole song’s focus.
In all the EP is a very strong, powerful statement of musical intent, a refreshingly arrogant taste of a music genre that has for too long remained stagnant and neglected. The White House Band have every potential to be part of a new wave of rapcore and rap metal acts, the vital components of musical talent and obvious passion being well and truly put in place, if the genre should decide to experience a certain renaissance. With trouble in the middle east, a Conservative government in Downing Street and the coat tails of a recession, the world is not that different from the glory days of the aforementioned big bands. Who knows.
Check out the band’s official website for download/purchase details: http://thewhitehouseband.net