Version 71

Hollywood Undead are about to drop a musical bomb. On their debut album “Swan Songs” (A&M/Octone), they’ve concocted an explosive Molotov cocktail of hip hop, rock and screamo, forging an alternative style that’s primed to blow the scene up. They craft incisive, sharp and sarcastic raps that slash the jugular of mainstream pop culture. They aren’t your standard rap or rock crew. They’re something new, dangerous, funny and alive. Songs crescendo from intelligent, clever rhymes that would make Slim Shady wince to eerie, metallic rhythms that could get Hot Topic bouncing. Johnny 3 Tears, J-Dog and Charlie Scene lead the lyrical charge. Deuce busts out the beats, while Da Kurlzz drops rhymes, and Funny Man hypes the fray. Donning individual masks, Hollywood Undead possess a dark aesthetic that’s connected to their hometown’s depravity. Tracks like “No. 5” dissect the frivolities of Hollywood with witty, catchy choruses. Album opener “Undead,” sets the tone, firing off a big melody and buoyant beats. Meanwhile, “Pain,” “Black Dahlia” and “Los Angeles” examine the town’s evil edge. Rising to prominence via MySpace, these six masked marauders stood at number one on the site’s music chart, leading to endless friend requests and plays. However, Hollywood Undead have got the gusto to be earth shattering far beyond cyberspace. They’re already knocking at your door, and they’re about to break it down.

The band’s sound cuts with a distinct hip hop swagger and a brooding, hard rock violence. These maniacs recorded seventeen songs with production by Danny Lohner (Nine Inch Nails), Don Gilmore (Linkin Park) and Deuce. J-Dog describes the sound best. “It’s different genres mixed together with no holds barred. The rap songs are straight-up club songs. The rock songs are in your face and industrial. It’s a collaboration of six people with different thoughts coming together and not holding back.” Charlie Scene elaborates further, “It’s the truth about what average, suburban teens are thinking. No one else is rapping about how those kids party and what they go through, but we are.”

Everything was born from a collaboration by Deuce and J-Dog in 2005. They posted one song on MySpace, and within a day, they had a slew of friends and plays. They hooked up with four of their lifelong buddies and became Hollywood Undead. Through word of mouth, they skyrocketed up MySpace’s music chart, becoming one of the site’s most popular acts. They inked a deal with A&M/Octone in 2008, and they’re ready to unleash their manifesto. Johnny 3 Tears delves deeper into the band’s message. “Our music is just a communication of our lives. That’s the best way to define it. It’s all extremely and explicitly honest about stuff we go through—love, hate and pain. People will see that honesty, and they’ll respond to it. I want our music to become a timeless thing for the people who like it. I want it to last forever for them. It’s not fleeting.”

The masks contribute to the band’s mystique. Charlie explains, “In order to keep everything a mystery, we didn’t want people to know what we look like.” That mystery is just as important to the band’s identity as the city is. J-Dog continues, “I’ve seen thousands of people who just couldn’t cut it out here. This city literally chews people up and spits them out. In Hollywood, there are artists, crack heads, gangsters, taggers, actors and homeless people. They all add culture to L.A. Growing up around so many different people made us who we are. Hollywood was always known for its rawness, and we have that.” The world will soon see that Hollywood Undead are as raw as it gets.

Edited by mutilate_me on 8 Sep 2008, 11:31

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