Guerilla Ghost Deliver What We Deserve

Guerrilla Ghost is a Milwaukee-based hip-hop duo, comprised of lyricist/rapper Chuck Jones (aka Bad Graphics Ghost) and producer Martin Defatte (aka Tron Jovi). United by their love of rap, as well as more aggressive sounds (both Jones and Defatte have backgrounds in noise rock, death metal and grindcore bands) — they’ve been working together since 2017.

Their new album, titled “We Get What We Deserve” will be available on July 31st 2020 and features the preposterously named first single from the album: “Wesley Snipes in Demolition Man”. This number serves as a compelling introduction to the band and hints at the logic and political orientation behind their newest sounds.

If you remember, the wacky 1993 sci-fi shooter sci-fi flick tells of a discredited, rule-breaking white police officer (Sly Stallone, who is the Demolition Man of the title) a guy who is brought out of suspended animation in the year 2032 to battle with an ultra-violent black man (Wesley Snipes). It’s supposed to be funny, as well as thrilling, and it features that familiar double-trope of troubled white cop / vile black criminal… you know, the same archetypes we have long come to expect from mainstream cinema. Actually, it would have been a better story if they hadn’t introduced race into it… but then, how would they have oriented their plot if an audience didn’t have obvious distinctions between two “sides” of the same coin? Luckily, the film-makers provided their audience with an easy peg to hang their prejudices onto. And that’s why the story is paradoxical: the white policeman is serving time for murder, just like the black thug. Both are as bad as each other — though we are expected to applaud the Demolition Man because he’s not pure evil. Or is he? And the black man is all bad because, well because he is. Spoiler alert: The white cop kills the black perp.

And so to the song: With elongated synth burps, the frustrated rap emerges from a dusk. It’s perked and it’s mobilized. The yummy chorus is psychotropic and the atmosphere is synesthetic.

As described in the antithesis presented by the Demolition Man concept, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. If you put love into a spoon, hate will froth out. If you shout trash into a toilet roll dispenser, soft white fluffiness will spew. What will the consequences of uncontrollable drug abuse, police barbarism, widespread human trafficking, and racial disharmony be for society? We can only guess. And the biggest question of all: How will Mother Nature deal with man’s reckless greed and rampant destruction?

So, “In Memory Of” features the Milwaukee based swift-talking, level-headed, rapper Armstrong Ransome (Adebisi Agoro). And it swirls around irritable rhythms and the pun is boisterous and hectic. The chorus has a shirty composure. This is a superior legacy.

The motivation of “The Immigrant Song” couldn’t be more different from Led Zeppelin’s 1970s, heavy rock number. In the original, the invaders came from the land of “ice and snow” and drove their own ship and became overlords.Today’s immigrant song is very different. Now our invaders stumble across borders in rags, babies in arms. They reach bleak towns in the back of a truck, and they come from the land of sun and sand in rubber dinghys. They are destined to become a service underclass. This song presents this subjugation in stark terms, with smudges of synth, screams in the darkness and combative rap. There’s also an assertive but harmonic “crime/crime/crime” chorus. Troubling!

The other homonymnal hymn to stand proud on the album is the swirling maelstrom of “Sympathy for The Devil” with mere rhythm beats, refracting guitarlike glides, and silhouetted vocals that hypnotize and disappear. This number is ghost-like.

The album delivers the kind of aggressive intensity that hammers home a message over 15 bold tracks and you know, for sure, you are never far from the gravity of the situation. In this respect, you can tell it’s a lockdown production: it screams liberation and blame. And the certainty of our future somehow only makes things worse. For some, escaping this confinement — any confinement — is a slow suicide in an unjust world that’s filled with hatred, greed, destruction and danger. Listen and weep.

File alongside: Run the Jewels, Dead Prez

Neil Mach
RAMzine Senior Writer - With a career spanning 30 years author / journalist Neil Mach is an expert on the music business and is a reliable guide. He especially loves heavy metal, prog & blues.

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