We all have heard of the angry young man, now comes the angry young woman and Otep Shamaya brings you her take on the ills of society with the release of the politically charged Smash The Control Machine. Shamaya has a lot to say in a Clintonesque fashion where she really feels your pain and tries to incite and educate those that have no idea what to get excited about in the first place.
The title track is a great example of a political philosophy that will appeal to those that really have trouble tying their own shoes. "Smash The Control Machine" is a terrific metal song with a message that that the greed of those who own the major corporations is bad and we should buy her record and overpriced merchandise to learn this. Our political views may differ on some topics but in the instance of this song I will tell you that they spew their message in a dynamite piece of heavy metal where Shamaya uses her smoky clean vocals in an almost Joan Jett style offering.
Another interesting moment on the disc is the ballad "Ur A WMN Now". Otep can really sing and this one proves it. With a tender and completely enjoyable vocal delivery, Shamaya with only a piano and violin backing her gives a terrific ballad that tells us about how mistreated women are in the world. In a roundabout way she does sing about a real problem here but talks in such a way that avoids dealing with bigger issues that are caused by the behavior she condones. She might be talking about a women in the welfare line because of a date rape but it would really be impressive if she would sing about the vast majority who are their strictly from their own choosing and the burden that it causes for all of society.
Otep has been a band that has tried to attract listeners from many a different genre. Labeled as nu-metal I think because there is no real category to put them in, they once again throw a pile of musical spaghetti against the wall and hope that some of it will stick. From terrific metal moments with Shamaya letting lose her screaming vocal to rap that is almost cringe worthy this album runs the gamut of style and taste. They even use spoken word passages that besides being way to prevalent, come across like a bad poetry reading in some bohemian coffee shop. This shows up most notably in the hidden track "I Remember" which should be left hidden.
The DVD that comes in the deluxe package is Shamaya giving a track by track break down of the disc, an overall picture of the album and to top it off she does some poetry readings. Listening to her explanation of the songs and her bashing of most things that could help prevent the evils she sings about, you will certainly have your fill of Otep and her soapbox.
This album is similar to other Otep disc in the fact that it is such a mixed bag that there is apt to be parts that do not appeal to the listener. While some of Smash The Control Machine can be called great, there is way to much of what would be considered filler and just nonsense to be taken seriously.
I was in FYE last night and saw that this disc priced at $19.95 had already been slashed to their bargain basement price of $9.95. It seems that the OTEP audience is either a lot smarter than Shamaya gives them credit for or they have moved on from her ramblings.
1. Rise, Rebel, Resist
2. Sweet Tooth
3. Smash The Control Machine
5. Numb & Dumb
6. Oh, So Surreal
7. Run For Cover
8. Kisses & Kerosene
10. Ur A WMN Now
11. Serv Asat
12. Where The River Ends
13. I Remember (Hidden Track)
1. Song by Song
2. Secrets Of The Machine