Nov 2011 15

SMP - Stalemate (Remaster)SMP
Category: Industrial
Album: Stalemate (Remaster)
Stars: 4
Blurb: A remastered release of SMP’s debut album proves its edge has not dulled in the many years since its release.


Originally released in 1995, Stalemate was SMP’s first bold step into the industrial world. Bristling with attitude and a unique infusion of hip-hop style with subtle punk overtones, SMP has refined and tweaked its style over the years, but in this debut we find them at their raw and intense best.

SMP quickly make their intentions known, busting out of the gate with “Pure Uncut Anger” with its hip-hop rhythm, record scratches, and the raw power of Jason Bazinet’s vocals. One of the strongest aspects of Stalemate is the vast variety of absolutely infectious driving beats throughout the album, a likely side effect of Bazinet’s proficiency as a drummer. The fast, blistering speed of “Alcohol Part One,” the slower, methodical, almost sinister “451,” the gritty inner-city feel of “1999,” and even the somewhat messier sounding “Drug Czar” all thrive on their pulse pounding beat. For the bonus track of this rerelease, Bazinet reunites with his former band mate Sean Setterberg and together they attempt to recreate their former chemistry in “Weak.” It is a solid track with some nice sampling and great guitar riffs but it doesn’t quite capture the spirit of the other work of Stalemate until about three minutes in when Bazinet breaks into some viscous rhymes skewering the current financial crisis. It’s a nice extra treat, even if it doesn’t perfectly gel with the rest of the album.

For17 years, Jason Bazinet has been a been an underappreciated force in the electronic music world making his mark on a huge variety of acts beyond just SMP, and for those who haven’t watched this act blossom and grow through the years, this rerelease of Stalemate is a perfect opportunity to experience the act from where it all began. The hip-hop influence is a bit more pronounced than in SMP’s later work and the sound is a bit more raw, but that’s what gives this album its timeless edge and makes it still one of SMP’s greatest albums.
Track list:

  1. Pure Uncut Anger
  2. Drug Czar
  3. 451
  4. Alcohol Part One
  5. Lethal Weapon
  6. Clementine
  7. Scarlet Letter Part One
  8. Scarlet Letter Part Two
  9. Cops
  10. 1999
  11. Backwards
  12. Homeless
  13. Punch
  14. We’ve Got a Problem
  15. Christmas at the Pub
  16. Weak (Bonus Track)

SMP Website
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Music Ration Entertainment
Purchase at:
Trubie Turner (Flexei)

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