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Corporate Avenger
Freedom Is A State Of Mind

Behind my grandmaís house in rural Oklahoma a squalid log cabin sits as a shrinking reminder of the past. The walls are sinking into the ground farther each year and the doorframe is so low that only my granny, who is shrinking at the same rate, can enter without ducking. This is the childhood home of her mother. Around 1840 her grandparents built this home where the U.S government had deposited them at the receiving end of Nunna daul Tsuny, "The Trail Of Tears." Spike Xavierís alter ego Corporate Avenger is presented as a socio-political super hero to address issues such as this one. Like the Speed Racer subplot, Corporate Avengerís brother is Daddy X of Kottonmouth Kings, which collaborates on the project. With the makeup schtick and megaphone brandishing sidekick Taxman, he is as action-figure-ready as Insane Clown Posse. Their controversy, however, counts for more than shock value.

Thereís a lot of dry propagandizing in the songs, and between. A cross between evangelist and military training film, the indoctrination begins to grate quickly. Within the songs thereís plenty of interesting ear candy and clever rhythms. The singing is rich, like Ozzy doing R&B. While it sounds like Dexter Holland is doing the whiney rapping. The punk element draws from the Killing Joke and Gang Of Four sense of political outrage. The musical sugar for this medicine is the stuff of Nine Inch Nails.

"I Donít Fault The Police" is a refreshing perspective as backhanded defense, I don't fault the police/Cause the people that run em/ they divide and deceive/I don't cry when a police die/cause they probably deserved it./Run around with a badge and a gun/and they god damn fucked with everyone. In fairness, the incendiary message gives equal time to gangsters. The criminal justice system is grilled also in "FBI Files", "Web Of Lies" and "Pig Is A Pig." Our governing body takes similar hits in the cool, rubbery "Voting Doesnít Work" and "Taxes Are Stealing." Extra points are awarded for the Taxi Driver screwhead speech.

It seems Corporate Avenger wasnít content with John D. Loudermilkís "Lament Of The Cherokee Nation" as the theme recurs in "Christians Murdered Indians", "The Bible Is Bullshit", the beautiful "Heavens Joke", and "$20 Bill." With Frontline Assembly industrial, the latter effectively points out Andrew Jacksonís history of poor Native American relations. Desecration of a burial site./Did you go shopping at the mall tonight?/The blood is on the Christian hands./With crosses they possess this land. Continuing the religious backlash, "Jesus Christ Homosexual" is transparently inciting. By design, it will upset both the ill-humored religious and homosexuals. But perhaps not religious homosexuals? So laughable, it really does more to attack Avengerís credibility than the intended target. Unlike herbal advocates Kottonmouth Kings, the Avenger spares us all but one pot song, "Drug Dealing God." A musical bumper-sticker for legalization.

The history lesson and mind-fodder they present is laudable, as is the groundbreaking contribution to costume B-boy music. The preaching and rapping give me a headache.

If one is issuing smallpox blankets, and ten is freeing Leonard Peltier: Freedom Is A State Of Mind rates a six, Tsalagi language taught on the net.

Complaints Dept : Mmmm, my favorite flavor, preaches and scream.

ó Ewan Wadharmi

Track Listing:

  1. Rattle
  2. Fault The Police (I Don't)
  3. Christians Murdered Indians
  4. FBI Files
  5. Taxes Are Stealing
  6. Bible Is Bullshit
  7. Voting Doesn't Work
  8. Web of Lies
  9. $20 Bill
  10. Jesus Christ Homosexual
  11. Pig Is A Pig
  12. Drug Dealing God
  13. Heaven's Joke

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