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Thrashback: Ramallah - Kill A Celebrity Review

by Hobo

I'd love to detonate a car bomb at the doors of your precious MTV and put some serin gas in the central A/C at the VMAs and watch those beautiful faces turn ashen grey...

Kill a celebrity, hey kid you're under 18 you'll prolly get off easy so feel free to blame it on me, hey kid just remember if you blame it on me I'll take the heat and you can plead insanity…

Violence is better than a cult of silence. I refuse to worship the human face. Kill a celebrity and you'll find you can strike down a god. - (from Track 2: Kill a Celebrity)

This is White Trash Rob Lind - and he is one pissed off, beaten down, shat on punk rocker who got the short end of life, but instead of falling into depression and admitting defeat, Rob has dedicated his life to hardcore. He has dedicated his entire existence to protesting this life, to screaming in the face of those who go about their lives blind, to those who submit to, believe and live the fallacy of the complacent American world. He stands up for what he believes in and could not give a single f*** whether or not you agree.

In the world of hardcore, he is close to a legend. He made his name as the founding member, guitarist, back-up vocalist of the Boston hardcore group Blood For Blood - who's 2002 album Outlaw Anthems remains one of the best metal-influenced hardcore punk rock albums written, and one of my personal favourite albums. The group are known for their unwavering aggression, hatred and offensiveness.

In the same year Outlaw Anthems was released, Rob began his own side projected, dubbed "Ramallah". Their first album But a Whimper made massive waves in the hardcore scene - here was a man with honesty, rage, clarity of vision, command over political-centered lyrics and a refusal to be limited by any pre-conceptions of what hardcore should be about. He used vocal melodies, he touched subject matter unheard of in the genre (eg; the ramifications of child molestation on society), he used pianos and sung clean vocals.

True to the man, the music was powerful, totally stripped of pretentiousness and unabatedly honest. This time around however, instead of an album of nine tracks clocking in at twelve minutes, Rob has given us sixteen new songs totally thirty-eight minutes. He continues to push the buttons of the blind and the complacent s***-eating Americans who sit back and believe everything they read, see and hear.

Take the track "Days of Revenge"; Rob delves into the issue of Middle Eastern terrorism;

"Just take a look at the papers, the headlines, your leaders, they're killers, they're liars, what they do in your name to make the bodies pile higher, the murders, the terror, they've done it, forever, as they sit back and smile at the script they sell us… The victims, they're, rising, their numbers multiplying, they want their revenge for the years that they've been dying.

"Holy mother of columbine say a prayer for me, blessed martyrs of Palestine come and strike us down"

He openly attacks his fellow Americans, as seen in "Drink the Kool-Aid":

"If you don't ask why then you deserve to die… that little sticker of a flag on your car means nothing for the terror you allowed in your name, when the planes fall again your prayers will mean nothing."

Being honest gives Ramallah the opportunity to jump from loathing and hatred one minute, to beautifully bold statements about love - like in a "Heart Full of Love":

"My hearts so full of love that I would save you all if I only could - I'd even die for your sins and then watch it all fall."

Rob's mindset is best summed up in the lyrics of "Just Walk Away", which actually features some lyrics from an earlier song he did with Blood For Blood - an allusion to how his place in this world have changed;

"Cause I was born into nothing in this world full of s***, and nothings changing anytime so. So I would rather die, than listen to you try to compare me and you. The sign in the road says we're going no where but it's been twenty years since I've cared."

Musically this album is hardcore - though very heavily influenced by metal (specifically thrash and to a lesser extent death). You'll hear pianos, cleanly sung verses, melodies, raps, screaming and yelling. Ramallah is driven by Rob's lyrics, and you definitely get the feeling that the music is just a vehicle for Rob's scathing social/political commentary and uncompromising values.

Kill a Celebrity is extremely well-written CD, mirroring much of my own views, value, disillusionment and aggression. The music is crushing, catchy and (thankfully) a little outside-the-box in terms of metal influenced hardcore. Throughout the album Rob laments the gullibility and naivety of Americans with apocalyptic despair. Make no mistake - he knows he defeated, he knows the numbers are stacked up against him - he just doesn't give a f**k.

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Posted by Hobo:
Months on I still f#cking love this album. I'd give it a 9.4 this time around.


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