Volume 92, Issue 82

Thursday, March 4, 1999


NOJO sands jazz grain

Grip Inc. solidifies its hold on heavy metal

Creativity qualms are unoriginal

Indie band tests shallow waters

Night Train misses intrigue station

Grip Inc. solidifies its hold on heavy metal


If hardcore, fast-paced heavy metal is your addiction, then Grip Inc.'s newest release, Solidify, is a good place to get your fix.

Solidify is an album of all out whaling guitars and fearful melodies ready to make your spine tingle. Singer Gus Chambers has the perfect sound for a metal band, as his alto howl fits perfectly over the melodious tone. When put together, the product can make a person's hair stand on end.

The complete metal sound of Grip Inc. is not surprising, as they are the product of drummer Dave Lombardo, the ex-drummer of the essential metal band Slayer. This ex-Slayer member gives these guys instant credentials in the metal world, not that they are needing any considering the power and depth of their awesome music.

Grip Inc. fits perfectly into the stereotype of metal music. Real metal fans will see their originality, but to the newcomers it may just seem like noise with some guy screaming about killing and hatred. Grip Inc. does have their fair share of deathly lyrics especially in songs like "Griefless" which features repeated choruses of "Parade of pestilence" and "Rest forever fear feeds fear."

Solidify is Grip Inc.'s third release and could easily be classified as their best. They have outdone themselves this time giving metal fans a huge dose of what they need most – kick ass music.



Wise Guys
No Limit Records

Once again, another Master P produced record hits the shelves. His albums have boasted overly-substantial sales, while at the same time hardly penetrating the mainstream flow.

Various critics may say some of the rappers on the No Limit label are a "dime a dozen," but in the case of the Ghetto Commission, a dime is even too generous. Wise Guys is a lyricist's nightmare from beginning to end. Ghetto Commissions' rapping style is simply comprised of a great deal of unorganized ranting and raving, which becomes extremely monotonous and almost annoying after about the third track.

Aside from their general lack of lyrical substance, the group repeats the fact that they are "No Limit soldiers" ad nauseam. Silkk the Shocker makes a guest appearance on "Trying to Change," but even his dominating lyrical prowess seems to somehow be reduced to their level of inadequacy. The Ghetto Commission seems to express their paranoid obsessions through killing, guns and war, which are concepts completely overused in hip hop.

The only remotely redeeming song on the album is "These Eyes of Mine" which comprises of a soulful, laid-back background with a Tupac-ish feel. Another ear-catcher is "I'm a Soulja," featuring a sample from the Jon Bon Jovi track "Wanted Dead or Alive," which mixes with hip hop as well as oil and water.

Wise Guys is ultimately a genre disaster and should be neglected to save face for present day hip hop.


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Copyright The Gazette 1999