There is an old saying that says “Never Judge a Book by its Cover.” While I must say this is usually a good practice, it is not as easy as it sounds. I am to a certain extent guilty of doing just that. Quite often I can find myself predicting what the music will be like when I pop the disc into the CD player. Not the case with Hollywood Undead. I had no idea what lay in wait for me when I first picked up a copy of the new their release, Swan Songs. All six band members adorn the front cover in various stages of face paint, masks and hoods; completely hiding their identities it was difficult to determine what I was getting into.

I must say I was pleasantly surprised. Swan Songs is difficult to categorize in any specific genre, there is a lot of rap, a lot of heavy guitars and screaming vocals and plenty of great beats to get your groove on. I feel Hollywood Undead have successfully melded all of these genres, added their own bit of swagger, creating a disc that is truly different and well worth listening to.

From an audio professionals point of view Swan Songs is a great sounding CD, no doubt due to the unbelievable engineering prowess of Ben Grosse, an engineer who has a way of making brilliant sounding records; and this one is no exception. It is difficult to single out any particular songs as standout because, really, the whole disc is good. However, if forced to pick, I would have to go with “Pimpin” or the opening track “Undead,” both of which scream to be cranked up to eleven on the stereo dial.

Admittedly, I am a big fan of this sort of hybrid genre-crossing music and I think this record is the cream of the crop. It is fresh, fun and there is something in here for just about everyone.

Track Listing:

01. Undead
02. Sell Your Soul
03. Everywhere I Go
04. No Other Place
05. No. 5
06. Young
07. Black Dahlia
08. This Love, This Hate
09. Bottle And A Gun
10. California
11. City
12. The Diary
13. Pimpin
14. Paradise Lost

Run Time: 49:36
Release Date: September 2, 2008