Okay, take this at face level—what (hed)p.e. is doing is marketable, will sell records, and is relevant within the attention-seeking teenage rebels that litter society’s landscape. Now with that disclaimer said and done, let’s get on with the honest truth.
Insomnia, (hed)p.e.’s sixth full length, is nothing more than an extension of the late ‘90s nu-metal craze that’s delivered to us in our current 2007 times. One can’t fault the (planet earth) guys for trying to incorporate as many influences as possible—rap, metal, hardcore, punk, and even jazzy parts, into their tried and true sound. Nor can one criticize vocalist Jahred for hammering down on some socially conscious themes (paranoia, war, personal accountability, the illuminati).
But what one can criticize is how many more times we are forced to hear this watered down formula of fucking pedestrian rap metal/nu metal bullshit. Sorry, but that style was dead in the early 2000s boyZ!
(hed)p.e. is affixed rightfully on Suburban Noize with the likes of labelmates (Kottonmouth Kings, X Clan, Big B) and have properly situated themselves with the right fanbase to pool from (hed)p.e. is also doing their part as a purveyor of society’s aggressive reactionaries, being that they are quoted as: “sick and tired of the status quo…we’re pissed off and ready to go!” But…we’re talking about the music here.
Yes, tracks like “Walk on By” and “Suffa” are going to be crowd favorites in the mosh pit and resonate lyrically. And yes, there are some nice rap-styled grooves on “Comeova2nite,” “Wind Me Up,” and on “Children” with their Buffalo Springfield sample of “For What Its Worth.” And metalheads may even be pleased with tracks like “Madhouse” and “Habeus.” This is all nu-metal and whatever rap metal is at its finest.
But for the rest of us, Insomnia is a difficult pill to swallow. No matter how many drinks of water are taken after downing a “horse-pill,” it still feels like it’s stuck inside your fucking throat. It’s irritating and slightly gagging.
Unfortunately, that’s what it’s like listening to Insomnia.