8 June 2013

Clawfinger - Deaf, Dumb, Blind

This album, is without a doubt, a guilty pleasure of mine. To a critical ear, it's terrible but to me, I love it!

Released in 1993, it made quite a stir due to it's hard-hitting rap-metal stylings. That, and the fact that one of the songs is an anti-racism song called 'N*gger'. It's also the chorus of said song as well where it is basically repeated over and over a few times. Seems a bit odd (and possibly bordering on ridiculous) that a group of white people would lecture black people about use of a word that historically, they have had more hardships over than anyone else. And what would they (Clawfinger) know about black history? They should've got Spike Lee to do it, he'd have made it a lot better. Anyhow, moving on...

The rest of the album tends to deal with media spin, failed relationships, war and general feelings of isolation and being ticked off in general. Musically its excellent, all chugging guitars and funky beats. I can imagine a fair few of these songs got regular plays at 90's rock clubs where the dance floor would get crammed. Production-wise, it's a bit sterile as it sounds like a pro-tools effort with hints of an electronic influence as well (The bands wikipedia entry classes them as 'industrial metal' but I wouldn't have went that far). It's not gonna be for everyone. Mind, the electronic bits in the production do lend a certain type of atmosphere which is cool. Worst part - the lyrics. Not just for 'N*gger' but for pretty much most of the songs. I'm not sure if it's the language barrier (The band are from Sweden) or if they just cannot write - but "I love you, I hate you, I kiss you, I rape you" (From the song 'I Need You') is extremely poor writing! It also sounds a little creepy too. But the best one is from a song called 'Rosegrove' where the singer goes "Do this, do that, come here you twat" - I actually laughed out loud when I first heard that! You ever see that cutaway in Family Guy about "Two foreign guys who've lived in America for so long they almost don't have accents?" That's this band! And in "The Truth", they rhyme 'motherfucker' with 'sucker'. To be fair, I've heard both Ice Cube and Eazy E do the same thing, but they did it with better class. Having said that, there is definate passion in the vocalists delivery and his flow is quite good too so I guess we can let him off as enthusiasm makes up for lack of skill.

Fun fact - this album won the band two Swedish grammys. And while they're not going to be as popular as that other Swedish band, it's a good album and if you can switch off and enjoy yourself for a bit, then you'll enjoy this album.

8/10 - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my money, time and heart.

Chris J.

The album isn't available on iTunes or Spotify.

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