Street Sweeper Social Club - Street Sweeper Social Club

Mixed or average reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 17
  2. Negative: 4 out of 17
  1. 90
    The true brilliance here is what is not done rather than what is. Instead of getting repetitive, drawn out, and maybe even boring, the album concludes itself at a measly yet perfect 11 tracks, clocking in at just under 40 minutes.
  2. Marrying firebrand lyrics with massive, pedal-pushing guitar riffs, SSSC (it sounds like a union acronym, doesn't it?) revels in the kinds of big, earnest gestures that emblematized 1990s alternative rock.
  3. It's Street Sweeper Social Club, pairing guitarist Tom Morello with rapper Boots Riley on a self-titled collection of striking, strident songs that take aim at the status quo with devastating riffs and searing lyrics.
  4. On the whole it works more often than not though, as Morello and Riley have a genuine and unforced chemistry.
  5. While Morello's and Riley's styles suit each other well, their acclaimed resumes are ultimately just a reminder that both men have done more memorable work elsewhere.
  6. 60
    Morello's guitars tend to dominate, Riley's best lines get lost, and none of the songs here have the tunes to convert floating voters. [Nov 2009, p.106]
  7. 60
    Their debut suffers from Morello's uneven arrangements, which vacillate between rousing hardcore funk and predictable hard-rock crunch.
  8. If Morello and Riley hadn't been involved in such great projects before, this would be acceptable, but in hindsight, it doesn't really live up to their past accomplishments.
  9. RATM guitarist and hardcore troubadour participates in dodgy agit rap/rock experiment.
  10. When an emcee sounds interrupted or unbalanced by the guitar and most of the music appears to be ripped from a bedroom jam session, it’s painfully obvious; Street Sweeper Social Club would better benefit society by performing said namesake operation.
  11. Though a floundering economy, bombed-out GOP and a season or two of corporate bailouts have provided them with a fat barrel of fish to shoot, this rap-rock hybrid simmers instead of seethes, never quite mustering the blood-boiling rage of its principals' previous material.
  12. Morello’s furious fretwork doesn’t complement Boots’ dumbed-down lyrics so much as it drowns them out: It’s oppressive and overwhelming.
  13. The problem isn't overheated rhetoric, it's half-baked songs.
  14. Even as a record of adequate, vaguely politicized mook-rock, it mostly falls flat, whether by lazy lyrics or some uninspired drumming from Galactic's Stanton Moore, who adds plenty of percussive touches like the judicious cowbell of 'Clap For the Killers' but sinks more straightforward tracks such as 'The Oath' like a stone.
  15. The blithe, lyrical approach is misplaced in the context of Morello’s domineering, effects-laden guitar sound.
  16. An attempt to relive the RATM era that falls far, far short of the bar. Save your money and go and listen to the real deal instead.
  17. Several spins of Street Sweeper Social Club reveals the weaknesses inherit in this duo’s style. While Boots is mostly on point with his critical lyricism, he lacks a punchy energy that is required to match Morello’s heavier riffs.

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