Let me start off by saying that E. Town Concrete is the only band I know of that can mix hip hop and hardcore and not come out looking like idiots. Their last release, Renaissance was a solid release, equal parts rap with equal parts hardcore. Made for War, on the other hand, leans more towards the hardcore genre and overall is missing a lot of the jump around hip-hop songs.
The last release had a couple of dark songs, but those were balanced out by happy nod-your-head rap songs. This release lacks in that balance and just gives a stale after-taste. It feels like you've been hearing the same songs over again. When I first got the CD I was trying to show a friend how the band does rap songs also, but couldn't find any. All I kept hearing were the same hardcore riffs with the lead singer screaming through the whole CD. The thing I liked about the last CD was the diversity of the singer's voice and how he would scream some and then sing some.
But lets move on to the new album. The intro to Made for War is pretty tight. It starts out with a sample from Independence Day, and then goes into the first song, "Pariah." I'd have to say "Pariah" is one of my favorite songs on this album, just because the chorus mixes jumpy hip hop and growling hardcore vocals, which is what ETC is good at. The worst song, I think, is "Do You Know What Its Like," because after one listen the chorus gets very annoying. And even the verse gets old, because the political opinions are very liberal, which is a given for artists, but still is a little repetitive.
The lyrics on Made for War are mostly about just that, war. ETC talks about class issues, war issues, race issues, and basically all the issues in the world that can be blamed on the government. Overall the lyrics are very easy to read, and at times get very cheesy, but thankfully never get complex. The song with the best lyrics is "A Set Up," which is a song about the harsh realities of lower class students not being able to afford to go to college, as well as corporations not paying enough. This song is the best written because the lead singer personally experienced this, and sings a verse about it in the song. Although the chorus, "They set you up, to keep you down" is a little questionable, the verses are solid, following a story of a kid named Johnny.
Overall, the production is perfect for E. Town Concrete, lyrics are fine, but I think they just need to incorporate more rap songs, like their last CD did. If you're contemplating getting this or not then go ahead and get it, the cover of Bodycount's "There Goes the Neighborhood" is worth it. If you're just getting into E. Town Concrete, then I would recommend The Renaissance, because for long time fans of this band, this CD is just okay, lacking the energy the last CD had.
6.0 / 10
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