Street Sweepers Social Club: The Ghetto Blaster EP

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Artist: Street Sweepers Social Club

Title: The Ghetto Blaster EP
Release date: August 10
Label: Street Sweepers Social Club

While the singer for Rage Against the Machine clings to relevancy by lending what little celebrity weight he still has to the civil rights cause in Arizona, the guitarist is still bashing out those Rage-y riffs. This time, he's doing it as one-half of the "rap-rock supergroup" Street Sweepers Social Club -- and the good news, depending on your perspective, is that those riffs don't sound a whole lot different from what they did in Rage's early-'90s heyday. The bad news, I guess, is that SSSC sounds a bit like RATM Lite.

The other half of SSSC is the rapper Boots Riley, from The Coup. I'd actually much rather listen to him carry the vocal duties than Rage singer/anti-SB 1070 mouthpiece Zack de la Rocha, whom I always found to be the weak link in the Rage chain. 

This six-song EP probably won't disappoint die-hard Rage fans, although they may miss some of that band's intensity. Not that SSSC aren't trying; it's just that this music doesn't pack quite the same punch. Covers of M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes" and LL Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out" are appealing as novelties, but you really only need to them once and you're good. 

Paper Planes (M.I.A Cover)

Best song: "The New Fuck You." It's got a good beat, as they say, and you can dance to it while chanting the chorus: "Revolution is the new fuck you / The new fuck you."

Rotation: Medium

Deja vu: Rap-rock supergroup? Really?

I'd rather listen to: Menomena's new one, Mines.

Grade: C+

"Nothing Not New" is a yearlong project in which New Times editorial operations manager Jay Bennett, a 41-year-old music fan and musician, will listen only to music released in 2010. Each Monday through Friday, he will listen to one new record (no best ofs, reissues, or concert recordings) and write about it. Why? Because in the words of his editor, Martin Cizmar, he suffers from "aesthetic atrophy," a wasting away of one's ability to embrace new and different music as one ages. Read more about this all-too-common ailment here.

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