Otep Smash the Control Machine

Otep Smash the Control Machine
Founder Otep Shamaya has made a career out of being angry, but with the release of Smash the Control Machine, while the messages are just as biting as on the band's debut, 2002's Sevas Tra, the music has fallen off, diluting the angry and relevant pronouncements. Lyrics like "calling all apostles/united we stand/they bleeding with nostrils/I'm wicked with hands" (from "Serv Asat") should be paired with both a lyrical delivery and music befitting the power of the message. Instead, the lyrics are often delivered in a faux-rap (reminiscent of the riot grrrl movement, circa1990), with the delivery and music swaddled in an uninspired, overproduced electronic veneer. Everyone knows that Shamaya's messages are what hold this band together, but it doesn't have to be so painfully obvious. The bark is still there, but the bite is gone. (Victory)