Ramallah - Kill a Celebrity (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Kill a Celebrity (2005)


Whether you know him or not, Rob Lind hates you. Otherwise affectionately known as White Trash Rob, the man responsible for Boston's Blood for Blood and Saints & Sinners, has gone out and recorded Kill a Celebrity, the first full-length for his side project Ramallah, in which he's literally a jack of all trades. Only the extremely brief piano use on the album was played by somebody else, otherwise Rob handles all the instrumentation on the album, which presents a bit of a logistical problem as far as the band actually touring. I'm getting away from the point, however, and that point is that Rob Lind hates everyone.

Don't believe me? Take a small peak into the liner notes, and you'll catch my drift real quickly. White Trash Rob hates MTV, he hates the government, he hates liars, and he hates them all in a surprisingly intelligent and articulate manner. A lot of the content focuses on politics, and our nation's current occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, one song in particular really shedding some light into his thoughts;

A new millennium is christened in 2003, when tens of thousands are condemned to die / While we danced and drank fine wine, they were screaming to an empty sky, why? / Kill my mother, kill my father, what am I left to do? But kill your mother, kill your father / God… make my aim true, is anyone even listening? Does anyone even care? / 'Cause the beat just goes on and on, and the terror never ends / Tens of thousands were condemned to die, shock and awe / Terror.. is anyone listening? Can you hear the screaming? / Does anybody care, can you hear their screaming? Is anybody listening to the sounds of the innocent suffering, suffering silently? No.
Those powerful words from the aptly named "Shock and Awe" are reflective of much of the record's content, but the problem is that power doesn't always permeate into the music itself. Most of the songs, like the aforementioned "Shock and Awe," have a solid hardcore metal sound, full of punishing riffs and spitfire vocals, but there's a few misses on the album that really disrupt the flow. "A Day in the Life" sounds more nü-metal than anything, and the use of a vocoder is extremely irritating, as the combination of that over heavy riffs off in the distance just makes for a confusing, boring track. The title track, "Kill a Celebrity," is the band, er, Rob Lind at his irate best, with his commanding presence really fueling the lyrical fires. I love that Lind is a varied songwriter, plenty capable of branching out, and one instance even shows that it works rather well for him. "Oscar Cotton" is a more low-key track with a memorable chorus, but the other tracks in this vein just seem to fall flat.

Managing to parlay his success with Blood for Blood into yet another musical venture, Rob Lind paints a striking portrait of American culture with his words, and he's got the gruff, powerful vocal chords and riffs to really pack a punch. Some hits, some misses, but a success overall.