Serj Tankian

Elect the Dead | Warner Bros.
By KEN MICALLEF  |  October 8, 2007
2.5 2.5 Stars
In a promotional video for his solo debut, System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian parodies practically everyone in the music industry, from Blackberry-addicted producers, bullshitting A&R reps, and double-talking label bosses to geek journalists and the artists themselves. Playing all the roles in this nine-minute mini-film, Tankian responds to interview “questions” with the practiced clichés of an artist who has nothing to say. Like the video, Elect the Dead is all Tankian, all the time. Playing almost all the instruments and freed from the Goliath prog-metal of SOAD, he gives full release to his inner clown parade. The first track (and first single), “Empty Walls,” sets the tone with its nutty metal-meets-polka beats and stacked, rapid-fire word spray. The Gypsy-inspired music shenanigans continue through the blasting barrage of “The Unthinking Majority,” the epic prog-rock tracks “Money” and “Lie Lie Lie,” and the free-funk send-up “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition.” In SOAD, Tankian’s vocal gymnastics and penchant for subversive lyrics are kept somewhat in check by the mix of muscle and subtlety guitarist Daron Malakian brings to the table. Here, there’s nothing to hold him back.

Serj Tankian + Tom Morello | Paradise Rock Club, 967 Comm Ave, Boston | October 15 | 617.931.2000
Related: The sound of tyranny, On the racks: October 31, 2006, Older, wiser, faster, louder, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Serj Tankian, Serj Tankian, System of a Down,  More more >
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