BLACK PRESIDENT - Black President

Black President - Black President

15 songs
34:03 minutes
***** ***
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Charlie Paulson probably never imagined that the USA would have a black president, and certainly not one with the Nobel Peace Prize after not even a year in office, when he had the idea to found Black President in 2004. Anyway he had in mind rather somebody like Chuck D. or Shaft. Be that as it is, Black President became something like a self-fulfilling prophecy, if they like it or not.

Formerly of pop punk ska band Goldfinger, Paulson assembled a bunch of musicians around him, some of whom have also previously played in well known bands. Vocalist/guitarist Christian Martucci was a member of Chelsea Smiles and Dee Dee Ramone’s band, drummer Roy Mayorga was a part of such different bands like Stone Sour, Soulfly, Amebix and Nausea. Only bass player Jason Christopher can’t show up with such a prestigious past musical life.

Black President try to combine punk rock with American soul music from the Sixties, and although they have a rather strong street punk touch, the vocals have more feeling than you would normally expect in a punk band. The album contains eleven songs (plus two intros) penned by the band. They are all rather short, sometimes hardly longer than one minute, never surpassing the four minute limit. To get their self-titled debut over half an hour, the CD ends with two well done cover versions of Alice Cooper’s Elected (how fitting!) and Motörhead’s Iron Fist.

They may not have reinvented punk rock, but Black President can pride themselves in having given a new edge to straightforward punk music. Soul fans will probably have a hard time discovering these influences, but those more accustomed to punk will be happy to be in the presence of a band that has actually managed to do something slightly different. The songwriting is definitely above average, and if that is not enough, the tight playing and the heartfelt vocals should be incentive enough to check out this promising new band.

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