November 23, 2005 | | 3

Ramallah, Kill a Celebrity

Rob Lind (Blood for Blood, Ramallah) has a pension for writing lyrics that are dark and often times inflammatory and controversial. This second album by his new band Ramallah is no exception. While musically the band’s sound is vastly different from Blood for Blood, the lyrical content still drips with vehemence toward society, popularity, and the general consensus of American politics. This album has a sound that incorporates hardcore, pop punk, rock and even an older nu-metal sound that rears up from time to time.

Track 1: Other Side. This is a simple chorus filled 28 second intro that leads into the title track.

Track 2: Kill A Celebrity. Rob Lind has out done himself lyrically on this track — calling for the death of a celebrity and suggesting to the assailant that he blame it all on Lind. This is one of the harder tracks on the album and has plenty of anger and anti-establishment feel.

Track 3: Days of Revenge. Track 3 introduces a rock feel that is found in subsequent tracks. This song has a nice bit of mosh through it. There is also an interesting piano interlude that adds some depth to the music.

Track 4: Ramallah. This is a rerecording of one of the original tracks on the band’s 8 song MCD, But a Whimper. This newer version is a bit more polished than the original and really loses something without Jake Bannon screaming his ass off in the chorus. I’m not sure who is doing the backing vocals now, but they can’t compare to Bannon’s distinct scream. It’s too bad too, having Bannon screaming in the background really made this song.

Track 5: Drink the Kool-Aid. This track has a catchy chorus with a bit of mosh to it. It’s not one of the stronger songs on the album, but still enjoyable.

Track 6: Oscar Cotton. A nice riff opens this track. Then Lind enters with a dirty singing style and lyrics that remind me of more alternative music than hardcore. He does make up for the chorus with some good hardcore shouts, but the overall feel for this track is a bit odd. It’s dark and somewhat pop influenced at the same time.

Track 7: Brother Malcolm. This is one of the speedier tracks on the album. It opens up pretty strong with a Blood for Blood feel to it.

Track 8: Horror and the Gag. I’m not sure if the lyrics to this song are based on real Lind family history, but he turns an intensely personal experience into one of the more prominent songs on the album. It’s got a pretty beefy sound (Hatebreed style mosh) and oddly pop-like “Na, na, na’s” wrapped around the pretty sensitive issue of rape.

Track 9: Shock and Awe. This is another rerecording of a debut song, originally titled “Al-Shifa.” Again, Rob has gone without Jake Bannon’s screaming background vocals. Even without Bannon’s screams, this is probably one of the stronger, and heavier, tracks on the album. I still like the original a bit more, but this version holds its own fairly well.

Track 10: Act of Faith. Dark synth keyboards open this track up slowly, then gets hit hard with great riff and Lind shouting. It’s a slow moving, brooding track.

Track 11: Just Walk Away. A piano and guitar combo leads in with Lind singing some “Oh’s” and “Hey’s” in the background. The main chorus is pretty cleanly sung. Lind borrows a few lines from some older Blood for Blood material and repurposes them for this song. Overall this is one of the more rock influenced tracks with a bit of pop punk added in for good measure.

Track 12: Heart Full of Love. Opened up with a short Roots-era Sepultura riff, this track hits hard with a thick hardcore mosh and beat. This is definitely one of the more enjoyable tracks on the album.

Track 13: Other Side (Reprise). Exactly the same as the intro. It’s a bit of a let down and momentum buster after the hard hitting “Heart Full of Love.”

Track 14: Day in the Life. Lind’s vocal delivery is altered a bit in this track. It’s a softer song with a pop punk influence, but retains its very solemn and depressing feel.

Track 15: If I Die Today. This song starts off strong with a quick paced hardcore beat. This track’s sound is more rooted in Lind’s past sound with Blood for Blood.

Track 16: Bye-Bye. Here’s another pop, rock infused song similar to “Day in the Life.”

While this band’s sound is a bit more commercial sounding that anything that Blood for Blood ever produced, it still remains rooted in the underground, hardcore scene with it’s lyrical content and member history. Ramallah is an enjoyable band to listen to, but fans of Lind’s previous work may not be able to get into the more pop punk and rock influenced portions of the album. I look forward to more from this band and feel they have a good amount of potential.

Favorite Tracks:
Shock and Awe
Heart Full of Love
If I Die Today

Additional Notes: