Black President - Black President (Cover Artwork)

Black President

Black President: Black PresidentBlack President (2008)
Cobra Music

Reviewer Rating: 2
User Rating:

Contributed by: mikexdudemikexdude
(others by this writer | submit your own)

The "supergroup" Black President was the idea of Bad Religion's Greg Hetson and Goldfinger's Charlie Paulson, and officially came into the works circa 2005. The same year, a well-spoken African-American was serving in the United States Senate -- this same African-American was elected the 44th presid.
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The "supergroup" Black President was the idea of Bad Religion's Greg Hetson and Goldfinger's Charlie Paulson, and officially came into the works circa 2005. The same year, a well-spoken African-American was serving in the United States Senate -- this same African-American was elected the 44th president of the United States in late 2008, somewhere near the time that Hetson left the band. Paulson should have immediately took note of the loss of irony and changed the band's name to something a little less moronic, but instead, he and Black President released a less-than-promising debut that borderlines mainstream garbage.

Opening track "Last Fucking Hope" is an undeniable glance at some vague competence and a unique, driving, hard rock undertone -- it's unfortunate that vocalist Christian Martucci will beat the concept to death throughout the course of the record. His style is a fine brew of Three Days Grace worship with a tinge of a campy, Elvis-like demeanor. Saving it from complete aural diarrhea, the rhythm section is surprisingly tight with a number of standout riffs that give the music a particularly admirable swagger. But like blowing on your spoon full of hot, rich, and delicious Campbell's Tomato Soup, Martucci's lungs will dull any initial intensity.

Adding to the cacophony, when peeling back the slick, black pages that make up the amateurish Photoshopped artwork, you'll read the compelling manifestos: "Media, media, I'm fucking sick of ya', you fill my life with bullshit trivia" and "why are you so negative? your anger needs a sedative" -- things probably half of us wrote when we were 13. It's one thing to harness the juvenile, belligerent, and simplistic nature of Black Flag's "Rise Above," and it's another thing to come off lazy. Black President does the latter.

Admittedly, they seem to have a decent handle on hooks; it's just a matter of knowing how to articulate them into the genre without sounding like the next thing I'd hear on 98 Rock. Along with the aforementioned "Last Fucking Hope," the surprisingly decent tracks are the ones that abandon punk completely; the-foot tapping "Neon" and the huge chorus of "Halleluja" are some clear highlights.

Black President's name may render groundbreaking and revolutionary connotations; their music, however, only displays how well versed the band is in radio rock mediocrity; there's nothing racy, dangerous, or controversial about them -- it's all incredibly safe.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
chokingvictim (May 18, 2009)

god i hate pc faggots like "slowstupidhungry"

shut up, dude.

evildeadalive (May 7, 2009)

I'm not gonna lie, I think Barrack is well spoken. He'd be well spoken no matter the colour of his skin. I think you people are looking far too deeply into this. Oops, did I just say 'you people'...? There I go. Holy shit people are sensitive... I don't think anyone ever reffered to dubbyah as well spoken so maybe we are racist. No wait, he was an idiot. Maybe people are just saying Barrack is well spoken for a US president?

spacemanspliff (May 4, 2009)

GlassPipeMurder hit it on the head. Score is for Nas.

GlassPipeMurder (May 4, 2009)

"the sad truth is we don't support ANY of the candidates at this point."

looks like their page.

Nas - "Black President" > all

mikexdude (May 4, 2009)

If you'd like to continue this argument, hit me an email. I still think this is a matter of overly-cautious political correctness, assumptions, and nit picking. I'm done crowding up the comment section.

slowstupidhungry (May 4, 2009)

""you can't call any black person 'well-spoken'" just sounds PC and irrational and just silly."

I didn't say "you can't call any black person well spoken." I said that, in the context of how you used it, it could come off as racist. Don't get defensive, it's true. I'm more offended at how defensive you get about it than its actual use... Anyone with common sense would acknowledge their poor word choice.

SloaneDaley (May 4, 2009)

you honkyass crackers should pipe down.

Dante3000 (May 4, 2009)

Hold on...We let a negro in the white house?!

What kind of science fictiony year 3,000 bullshit is this? Damn you all to hell!

mikexdude (May 4, 2009)

"you can't call any black person 'well-spoken'" just sounds PC and irrational and just silly.

mikexdude (May 4, 2009)

I got a little worked up before, I love arguing, but Will, I just meant that what you're doing -- saying that black people shouldn't be called well-spoken, grouping them ALL together like that -- is what you're accusing me of, but backwards.

damo (May 4, 2009)

simmer the fuck down. mike clearly wasn't being racist so go back to reading your propagandhi lyrics

slowstupidhungry (May 3, 2009)

"Wil: If he speaks well, then why can't I call him well-spoken? You're coming off as someone who is just as annoying as a racist: Someone who has the PC stick so far up their ass regardless of what the reality of the situation is."

You're an idiot if you think I'm as annoying as a racist for saying that calling a black person "well spoken" is stupid. I didn't even call you a conscious racist, I just pointed out that it's probably the worst wording you could use to express his speaking skills. The fact is, I don't have to take that statement out of context for it to look kinda fucked up.

Cos (May 3, 2009)

Who the fuck is Will?

burningfeeetman (May 3, 2009)

score is for the ridiculously serious confrontation that just happened here. whoooahhhhh.

mikexdude (May 3, 2009)

Oh. Sorry, I get all excited whenever Will comments... he always makes me feel great. Anyways, yeah, I should have said that I understood what you meant, but don't see it as right. Let's just leave it at that. Sorry, again.

Cos (May 3, 2009)

Look, all I was trying to do was give you a heads up that what you've said can EASILY be construed as racist. I've told you why. I've cited sources. You don't see anything wrong with it. Fine.

The only thing that's left to do is to start calling you names, but since I'm not eazyd2, I won't.

mikexdude (May 3, 2009)

I wasn't listening? Or was I not agreeing with you? It logically doesn't add up in my mind; I can see the watermelon and chicken thing offensive as it's a stereotype backed by poltical agenda or Joe Biden saying: "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy." Because he states the generalization. In my case, it's just generalizations that are created out of the assumptions of the readers mind; there is not enough information (unless you're as PC as Will) for it to be remotely racist. Cause it wasn't.

Cos (May 3, 2009)

You aren't listening, so there's no point. Sorry.

mikexdude (May 3, 2009)

Also Will, you proved my point: ""well spoken" is a good way to describe a black person"

I wasn't describing a black person, I was describing Obama. See, you're generalizing more than what you're accusing me of.

You're like a positive racist.

mikexdude (May 3, 2009)

It's just an adjective; if you want to look into it, go ahead because when you abandon logic for "something more than words," then the playing field is too abstract for a real argument and going into something a bit more philosophical -- where right or wrong could be argued for hours on end. You can count me out if that's the case. The fact of the matter is, he speaks well, he's black (and this band is called Black President hence the relevance) and that's it. If you want to look that far into it, that's an assumption. . And if context is everything, this is an analyitical review with no political agenda (I made it a point to only touch briefly).

Cos, your analogy is a completely different situation and is irrelevant.

Wil: If he speaks well, then why can't I call him well-spoken? You're coming off as someone who is just as annoying as a racist: Someone who has the PC stick so far up their ass regardless of what the reality of the situation is.

slowstupidhungry (May 3, 2009)

You don't seem to be an active racist, but you definitely have shit you need to work on if you think "well spoken" is a good way to describe a black person, even if they are in fact well spoken. Find a better way to put it... For example, if there was a black singer for a screamo band, a genre I find boring, yet this singer was an exception and I admired his vocals, I wouldn't describe him as "one of the good ones."

Cos (May 3, 2009)

Context is everything.

Sometimes words are more than words. Your logic is roughly equivalent to the defense that Republican group used to justify putting watermelons and fried chicken next to a picture of Obama "I never connected," she told a local newspaper. "It was just food to me. It didn't mean anything else."
http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/2008/10/16/newslet ter/

Washington Post editorial on Obama being called "articulate" that describes this problem better than I am.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02 /01/AR2007020101495.html

If you still aren't convinced, try Googling "well spoken" and either "black" or "african" and see what the fuss is all about.


mikexdude (May 3, 2009)

I want to start out by saying that when I am responding to you, I mean it in respect and don't want this to break out into name-calling. I disagree, though.

It is unfortunate that historical regret will mask logic, but look at this way: If I said, "a hairy white guy," that doesn't imply that most white people aren't hairy, that this person in particular is white and hairy. It's just descriptive words. The statement is interchangeable with all adjectives.

It seems like most honest people are pre-wired with a sense of regret for African Americans went through, but then it leads to the irony: Ignoring the logic, your assumptions only generalize worse than the accused.

Thanks for not holding it against me.

Cos (May 3, 2009)


I'm with sumwon here: I don't think you were being intentionally racist either. "Well-spoken" seems to an description thrown around by white people to any black man who displays a modicum of intelligence (I had to bite my tongue the other night after my parents paid the same praise to LeBron James after watching 60 Minutes), but when you really think about what it means, its a pretty back-handed compliment. I thought Chris Rock did a pretty good job a breaking it down. Unfortunately, it is term that we hear far too often and thus sounds appropriate.

I don't think I really thought about it either until I saw the Chris Rock video a little while back. We all know you're a teenager here, so that means you're way ahead of me when I was your age...

mikexdude (May 3, 2009)

An individual of any race does not encompass every adjective, so there is no logical roadway to come to that implication; it's like when people read "bitch" and "feminist" in the same sentence and freak out, ignoring context or the reality of the sentence. Next time, I'll make sure there is a comma in between the two to accentuate the listing of descriptions.

Drewxfishy: I thought I was pretty fair in the review -- covering positives and negatives and giving credit to where it's undeniably due. I have pretty extreme opinions on music sometimes, it's how I am, so even though there are moments in the review of this, it it light years more fair than some other negative reviews.

StrangeSlowOld (May 3, 2009)

I really enjoy this record. Seeing them on Thursday.

miniblindbandit (May 3, 2009)

now I want soup.

drewxfishy (May 3, 2009)

i was dreading reading this because i knew what it would say beforehand

its unfortunate to see someone talk so much shit about a record thats really great

this rekkid has nothing to do with radio rock

this band hates three days grace more than you do

gotsmuch (May 2, 2009)

i don't listen to this record much but wowwee, this is a band everyone needs to see live. they played at riot fest TWICE in one day and i was blown away, even the second time, having already seen them literally hours before.

MeeSTa3k (May 2, 2009)

"Not Amused" on this album was also on the newest Goldfinger record. As much as it doesn't sound like Goldfinger, I think their recording is better than Black President's.

sumwon (May 2, 2009)

Score is for using "well-spoken" when describing a black person.
Agreed. Dont think the reviewer wrote it intentionally, though.

But yeah, its implying that a well spoken black person is an anomaly and therefore needs to be clearly identified as such or else we'd assume he's dumb.

Rastid (May 2, 2009)

score is for the number of stars the record is better than the review.

eazyd2 (May 2, 2009)

great review! you really showed those cunts. keep up the good work you cute little faggot xxxxXXXXXxXXXXXXxxxxxxxxxXXXXXXxXXxx

mattramone (May 2, 2009)

I was mad at Mike for offering to finger my cat, but this review makes up for it.

xIxKilledxJesusx (May 2, 2009)

goddamn, mike is an idiot..

mikexdude (May 2, 2009)

JonDaley wins

Cos (May 2, 2009)

Chris Rock breaks down "well spoken":
full version (starts @4:25 or so)

scientistrock (May 2, 2009)

They were awful Thursday night. Awful.

SloaneDaley (May 2, 2009)

things probably half of us wrote when we were 13.

Mike sure would know a thing or two about that, ba-dum-chhhhh!

SloaneDaley (May 2, 2009)

I think pointing out that Obama is well-spoken is valid considering who the last guy with the job was.

hamonrye (May 2, 2009)

in one of my sociology classes, we were discussing the adjective well-spoken and the way its been used to describe Obama. interesting...

mikexdude (May 2, 2009)

Cos, I hope you aren't hinting that I was doing something racist... Just to clear up, the word about Obama is that he speaks well. I didn't mean it to any particular race.

Cos (May 2, 2009)

Score is for using "well-spoken" when describing a black person.

Cos (May 2, 2009)

Score for the link title.

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