Notes from the Undergound album opener ‘Dead Bite’ boasts this little snippet (among others): “Let me buy you a drink; how ’bout a roofie [date rape drug], gin and tonic? It’s terribly misogynistic and offensive. So does it deserve a rigid public outcry like the one that that pantomime villain Yo Yo Honey Singh got? What, then, of Axl Rose (GNR), allegedly a renowned misogynist and all-round bad egg, who was received whole-heartedly by tens of thousands just last month? And Kurt Cobain (Nirvana), who – albeit with irony – wrote and sang “Polly” from the POV of a rapist who’s abducted a young girl? Perverted a-hole/sicko. All those clubs playing commercial hip-hop, a chunk of which uses ‘bitchez and hos’ as a starting premise, and glorifies violence, drugs, and depravity? That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Do we have our petitions ready? We really should. Music is often just a culmination of a complex interplay of lucid thoughts and intangible emotions, even if profoundly misguided, and petitions don’t quite do justice to it.
Coming back to Hollywood Undead though, the music holds its own minus the Linkin Park-esque lapses into filtered and overcommodified rap-poprock. There’s spunk, energy, a clusterfudge of influences (rap, hip-hop, rock, pop, R&B, even some hardcore) spliced together, and a genuine groove throughout. The multiple rap deliveries are interspersed with melody and an airtight rhythmic intensity to create a very dynamic record, with aforementioned ‘Dead Bite’ and ‘From the Ground’ really sticking out. The lyrics, of course, are a different story, rendering the Dostoyevsky reference feeble and out of place.