Released: July 17, 2007
Record Label: Suburban Noize Records
When one first opens (hed) P.E.‘s latest album, Insomnia, the booklet opposite of the record says “Sick and tired of the status quo we’re pissed off and we’re ready to go.” This is amusing as listening to them is an instant reminder of nu-metal’s own status quo that this band echoes. Nu-metal, a form of heavy metal mixed with punk rock, post-grunge, and rap music, though don’t hold these boys to a specific genre as they enjoy dipping the wick across the entire realm of music.
(hed) P.E. absolutely reeks of the year 1999, filled with anti-establishment lyrics, groove based guitar, and vocals that alternate between an almost comedic rap (think ICP) and Jonathan Davis-laced singing. Sometimes they work (The track, “Mirrorballin,” filled with funky plucks on guitar, is a perfect example.) The lyrics, however, are just as varied as the music.
The lyrics, like the music, vary. “Mirroballin” is a porn soundtrack waiting to happen, with vocalist Jahred Shane aka M.C.U.D (Paolo Sergio Gomes) giving a girl (who refers to him as daddy) specific instructions on what to do with sex toys. On “Game Over” He mixes more sexual requests with a rap about nobody understanding Muslims, which follows up with more screaming and punk-like screaming. Intro track, “Madhouse” brings sound clips into the mix, which mix well with the screams and occassional guitar crunching and a nu-metal vocalized tint of whininess. “Walk on By” sounds like someone is gargling, which is then followed by more music and vocals.
“Wind Me Up” is another pornographic rap track that talks about discusses more pornographic adventures with the band and whatever women they’re requesting to “violate,” as they put it bet. The band also discusses “little girls” quite a bit, with at least 3 songs having a woman moan out “Daddy.” The vocals throw in screams with this, as well as a funk-influenced beg to wanting to “get inside.” It’s hard to listen and take it all seriously, but the group definitely knows what they’re doing with tight bass lines and occassional guitar strumming on the rap song-complete with sparadic gunshots-on “Comeova2nite.”
“Rto,” fills the album with hardcore punk in the beginning, then settles into another rap track that talks about post-high school memories of time passing and gangster lifestyle. “Atlantis A.D.” starts out with sound clips that sound like they came right out of the history channel. The sound clips on all the songs seem fluffy. Sometimes they fit, sometimes not, but everytime, it’s unclear what they’re trying to say about the song’s lyrics. “Atlantis A.D.” is actually the most enjoyable song to listen to on the album, though it gets repetitive quick. It’s definitely the most structured song on the album, with very little straying into other genres. The album closes with a punk-fused ska effort, “Don’t Let Me Down,” which borders on a little bit of surf rock and ska.
The biggest problem with this album is that it has almost too much musical exploration. It’s as if the band got together, had 50 ideas for the 14 tracks on the album, but didn’t want to formulate or bore the listener, so they through everything into a musical blender and produced Insomnia. If one can tolerate dealing with songs having multiple switches between rap, punk, nu-metal, funk, then the album is sure to be enjoyed, but if only one or two genres is desired, look elsewhere.
- Walk On By
- Game Over
- Comeova2nite (feat. Young Roscoe)
- Tienanman Squared
- Atlantis A.D.
- Wind Me Up (Feat. Kottonmouth Kings and Tech N9ne)
- Don’t Let Me Down