HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD

"Day of the Dead" (Interscope; 2015)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

This is the fourth disc from rap rock masters Hollywood Undead. Their first album had tons of fire on it. I dug their second offering and I'm ashamed to say I missed their third go around (I'll revisit that disc and toss up a review when I mark it off my list). This album is more of the same up-in-your-face rap/rock with each member spitting lyrical decimation and cool beats backing up their prose of their life in Hollywood.

I've always thought of Hollywood Undead as the Slipknot of the West Coast. They've got masks to hide their faces but their persona's take over when they start rapping, plus their names get mentioned a lot so you know who is laying down the truth that chips your teeth. Each track has rapping and then clean vocals on the chorus. There is a hook to be yanked on each song because that's the batter that got them noticed. Sometimes it sounds a little more pop than rap rock but that's only because these guys have mellowed musically, but not lyrically.

I was able to listen to this disc with full lyrical content appearing for each track. It was a better way to listen to "Day Of The Dead." At least I could follow along. I think sometimes a dance music vibe starts to come out on this album but then the hard rap takes over so you never really get too into moving your body but this is still a great workout disc if you want something that doesn't let up. Sometimes I feel the lyrics are a bit juvenile because of the party aspect but I still think it sounds good because of the music. Towards the end, the disc gets a little too light for me and some of it sounds like filler. You get twelve tracks and an extra three if you grab the deluxe version.

Hollywood Undead: Daniel "Danny" Murillo - clean vocals, keyboards, rhythm guitar; Jordon "Charlie Scene" Terrell - vocals, lead guitars, clean vocals; Jorel "J-Dog" Decker - vocals, unclean vocals, rhythm guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, synth, programming; George "Johnny 3 Tears" Ragan – vocals, unclean vocals, bass guitar; Dylan "Funny Man" Alvarez – vocals; Matthew "Da Kurlzz" Busek – vocals, unclean vocals, drums, percussion.

For more information on the band - http://www.hollywoodundead.com.

"American Tragedy" (A&M Octane; 2011)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

Hollywood Undead are back with their second offering of rap/rock. Combine 311, Linkin Park and a solid dose of gangsta rap and you've got Hollywood Undead. These guys have a great sound and snappy lyrics so if you want to rap along with some cool, hip lyrics then I recommend cuing up this guilty pleasure.

The sound of "American Tragedy" seems to have mellowed the boys. They still have some hard cuts on this disc but they also input some pop hits and have a few club hits as well. Fans of the band feel them more than I do. I like their style and vibe and when I need a good workout soundtrack these guys always deliver. If you liked the first disc then you'll dig on this one too.

Hollywood Undead: Charlie Scene - vocals, lead guitar, composer, clean vocals; Da Kurlzz – drums, percussion, screams, vocals, composer; Danny – clean vocals; Funny Man – vocals, composer; J-Dog – keyboards, synthesizers, piano, rhythm guitar, bass guitar, vocals, screams, composer; Johnny 3 Tears – vocals, composer.

For more information check out http://www.hollywoodundead.com.

"Swan Songs" (A&M Octane / Polydor Records; 2008)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

Rap/rock is the flavor this band wants to palletize you with. The first cut, "Undead," will surely wake you up and it's peppered with plenty of profanities that rhyme -- so is the whole disc as a matter of fact. I was head bobbing the whole time. It's 311-ish but with a leaning edge of rap and punk.

These guys started out on MySpace with tons of friends and were an unsigned band searching for a label that wouldn't censor them. Voila! A&M stepped up to the plate and helped them market their rap/metal sound to attract video game manufacturers and movie soundtracks (such as "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra"). A few cuts here are in-your-face and some are dance numbers that would keep the club hoppin'. Sometimes, you might think Eminem was feeding them material.

A few of the intros are unique in their approach and that adds a little more flavor to the song but it's not always what is beyond the intro that will keep you listening. There are some benchmarks of rap/rock in between the rap songs. See my list of the best cuts (below) if you just want the rock and not the rap. Sometimes, they go Linkin Park on you so it’s a mixed bag of music.

Either way, the music is really good and the lyrics are snarl savvy. An initial listen through will have you picking out your favorites and making a personal play list. If you need one familiar name to attach to this project let me tag Josh Freese, who lends his drumming talent on a few tracks. If you like rap/rock and rap/metal mixed together then give Hollywood Undead a shot.

The best cuts are: "Undead," "Sell Your Soul," "Young," "California," and "Paradise Lost."

Hollywood Undead: Charlie Scene - vocals, lead guitar; Deuce - vocals, programming, production; J-Dog - vocals, guitar, keyboards; Johnny 3 Tears – vocals; Funny Man - vocals, lead baritone; Da Kurlzz - vocals, percussion.

For more information, check out http://hollywoodundead.com or http://www.myspace.com/hollywoodundead.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

Back to CD Reviews Home

Back to RoughEdge.com Home

Copyright © 2015 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Jul 2017 13:44:32 -0400.