Welcome to NK’s Album Flashbacks, where the Negative Kitty shares her thoughts on not-so-recent albums. Today’s album review: Steal This Album! by System of a Down!
BINGBONG – it’s mf SOAD TIME!
Mmkay, so we’re gonna go ahead and jump right into the 2002 banger AF album, Steal This Album!, by everyone’s beloved System of a Down. Hold on to your scratching posts guys, the ride’s about to get bumpy – this album is a rollercoaster of head-banging alt metal with some snawesomesauce punk vibes for extra flavor.
Speaking of flavor, System of a Down starts the album off with the perfect meal for a kitty, “Chic ‘n’ Stu.” MMMMMMMMMMMMnumnumnumnumnumnumnum. But forrealz, this track sets the tone with its blistering vocal intensity and thrashing guitars. System of a Down always manages to blend in important political commentary, sometimes directly or in seemingly goofy lyrics – AKA last night’s pizza order “pepperoni and green peppers, mushrooms, olive, chives.” Oooooh I’m totes hungeronie right now. Lemme get uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh pineapple and anchovies? And one scoop of tuna pweeeease ˚₊‧꒰ა ☆ ໒꒱ ‧₊˚
Okay. Purring our way to my fav track from the album, “Mr. Jack.” Who the heck is Mr. Jack and where is he at yo? Idk but just click the track and hot damn, we got ourselves the track of all tracks.
System of a Down immerses you in a dystopian world with cryptic lyrical imagery. Powerful vocals and sinister melodies grow into aggressive riffs and enraged growls that intensify at the end of the track. My paws flex, and my innerferocious self comes out: MEOWWW MEOWWWWW MEOWWWW *scwatches u* *apowogizes* >___>.
Ok so we got the overall vibes, check. Awesomesauce intro track, check. Most importantly my fav song from the album, extra checks. How about we get into some deep cuts – which has SOAD bringing their A-game.
Their ADD game!
“A.D.D. (American Dream Denial)” sees System of a Down take a sledgehammer to the American Dream, breaking it down to all its itty bitty kitty parts. ADD also refers to, mmmmmmyouguessedit, Attention Deficit Disorder. This track is a play on words and an ode alluding to the fact that, Americans are distracted from what’s happening in the country, having our attention taken up by those who seek to control us. Spoken, almost whispering segments contrast with strained, snarling vocals, rapid-fire verses and an explosive chorus which draws our attention to every single word of Serj Tankian’s scathing critique of the American Dream.
BTW go listen to Serj’s solo track “Your Mom.” Do it right now and thank me later. I may have to devote an entire essay to that masterpiece…
The next song is really a blast. No, literally omg. “Boom” starts off with heart-thumping drumming that draws you in, stuck at the edge of your litter box just waiting for what’s gonna happen next. Serj Tankian & Daron Malakian take turns delivering poignant spoken word verses in direct response to the Declaration of War on Iraq – which was widely regarded as a bad move – as well as serving as a commentary of war mongering in general.
This song is really cool for a lot of reasons, ofc the song (duhhh), but they got Michael Moore to direct the music video, which features footage of anti-Iraq war protests, where more than 10 million people protested globally. That’s like, a lot of people. It got banned from MTV Europe, so my European kitties had to source this from the underground, or like, LimeWire.
Finally we have “Roulette”, which is probably the weirdest System of a Down song ever, or at least off this album, because it’s, not… too weird? The lyrics are pretty straight forward and not the usual Dadaist antics. Compositionally it’s not metal (still metal af) and barely rock. It feels like a nice n pretty sad love song. Here, emotions are bared and frustrations are let loose to the tune of soft gentle guitar. It’s a really nice song which provides a lil’ break from the relentless anger at the shite of the world.
Now I won’t suggest stealing this album, but you gotta give it a listen. Back in the diz-zay, I would rock my JNCO’s and breakdance to SOAD outside the 7/11. It was the perfect sonic representation of our crazy times, and still is! Its rebellious energy and thought provoking lyrics showcase the raw genius of System of a Down, serving as a rallying cry for those who refuse to be silenced. This album makes you wanna flip the bird to the establishment – or at least pounce on the bird, knock it around a little bit, maul it a little ૮ • ﻌ – ა, and present it half-twitching to a loved one. Yeah… what were we talking about?
Oh right – this is a sick-ass album and it’s just perfect for whenever you wanna really rock out. Which should be always.
This album gets one EPIC NUGGETS!
Ta-ta for now my darlings…