Body Count

I was ecstatic when Ice-T’s and Ernie C’s heavy metal syndicate, Body Count made a comeback eight years ago with their Murder 4 Hire album. Unfortunately that disc turned out to be a dud and became the bastard child no one speaks about in the group’s discography. Despite Ice-T, the music simply wasn’t that interesting and the terrible production made it all even worse. I didn’t feel it and would have probably had got shot over it had I interviewed Ice-T about it back then — like in the opening skit on the band’s Violent Demise album. Once it became news that Body Count was to return to the crime scene this year with a new album, Manslaughter, I was more than skeptical. Then the first single, “Talk Shit, Get Shot” hit the Interwebz and I got godsmacked. My hopes went up like if I was a Steven Tyler look-alike street hooker on meth hoping to score with Richard Gere as if his dick was the CEO of a Mexican Drug Cartel.

And oh boy, motherfuckers. Manslaughter is one hell of a rocking slab of abrasive heavy metal with a politically incorrect edge — more than ready to be hashtag campaigned against on Twitter for more reasons than one. Where Murder 4 Hire had many fatal shortcomings and empty clips, none of those are here as the Mac-10 is fully loaded, ready to dish out some sweet street justice.

Body Count sounds rejuvenated as they bang their heads between heavy metal, crossover and thrash metal, prepared to bluntly school a lot of modern acts and call them out on their bullshit. Body Count’s latest incarnation is tight, paying respects to the band’s demised original lineup. The addition of Agent Steel guitarist Juan Garcia looks like a proper move as he works swell with Ernie C; the riffing and soloing leaves nothing to hope for. Bassist Vince Dennis (Steel Prophet) and drummer Will Dorsey, Jr provide a quality backdrop for the mayhem. The production has been fixed as well as it’s clear and impactful. The presence of ‘80s and ‘90s is strong, but the whole thing is fresh like a prince, instead of a whacky rehash — even with a song like “Black Voodoo Sex” that hints at the band’s history in a more explicit manner. Some might argue against “99 Problems BC” too, where Ice-T revisits his past. One could easily consider it the weakest cut on the plate, but it still fits the album with ease.

The pedal stays on the metal most of the time as the pace alters between various speeds of ‘fast’ (“Manslaughter” and “Bitch in the Pit”) all the while the daylight drive by is served with a strong sense of groove and topped with Ice-T’s vicious verbal acrobatics. The Man drops truth bombs, screams social commentary and threats of bodily harm with a conviction and a knack for entertainment. Take for example the reimagined cover of Suicidal Tendencies’ “Institutionalized 2014” where anger problems materialize as the man casually wades through everyday problems such as Oprah’s brainwashing against ‘shooting fuckers’ on Xbox, vegetarians and customer support representatives. Then there’s, say, “Pop Bubble” (with an appearance from Jamey Jasta) that speaks lovingly of the music industry’s love for deeper substance while the music takes a turn to a more early ‘00s hard/metalcore. Can’t forget the opening “Talk Shit, Get Shot”, one of the albums finest, as it speaks about rules and regulations. At the other end of the spectrum, there’s the album closing, slowly burning and slightly ominous “I Will Always Love You” that concludes the album in a more serious note with a nod of respect to those in the armed forces. (There’s a ‘rock mix’ -version of “99 Problems BC” at the very end, but I take that as an optional bonus track). Overall the social commentary might not reach that of the debut album, but if the band continues on this path and becomes even more engulfed in anger, some amazing things might happen in the future.

One of the biggest and most surprising things that Manslaughter evokes, though, is a certain deeper connection with GWAR (hail Dave Brockie!) and their music from Violence Has Arrived and onwards. There’s a ton of similarities that might not be clearly evident at first but still make me want to pick up a red marker and draw lines between the two bands. Hell, the riffing at the end on “Wanna Be a Gangsta” would suit War Party any day and the aforementioned “I Will Always Love You” isn’t too far from, say “The Road Behind”. Apparently Body Count will perform at the 5th annual Gwar-B-Q this August and that to me feels simply fitting

So there you have it. Not only does Ice-T remain as one of the leading — but heavily underappreciated — frontmen in heavy metal, but also, even after 22 years or so, Body Count is still more than relevant in 2014 with Manslaughter becoming one of this year’s most entertaining offerings; a perfect soundtrack to the summer and your next domestic violence dispute. Appreciate, motherfuckers.

187 points out of 187.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Mikko K.
June 20th, 2014


  1. Commented by: Dimaension X

    Wow. Wanted to hate it so bad, the the video really rox.

  2. Commented by: Staylow

    OK, I’m sold. Gonna check it out. Awesomely entertaining review there, Mikko!

  3. Commented by: thorgod

    Did this site actually review this garbage? Done.never coming back.

  4. Commented by: Apollyon

    No fun allowed :(

  5. Commented by: E. Thomas

    Thorgod. Please say that’s true and you and your retarded comments will never come back, as I’m sick of deleting all of your idiotic comments under different chickenshit usernames.

  6. Commented by: vugelnox

    Guilty pleasure album of 2014 for me. Very enjoyable!

    I think thorgod is finished anyways. Ice-T will take care of him in short order as the first track clearly spells out.

  7. Commented by: Kevin E.

    I admit I haven’t listened to the album, but the other night on Conan O’Brien I saw him perform the song I think it was called “Rehab”… wow, it was laughably awful. Let’s just say he shouldn’t give up the Law & Order gig just yet.

  8. Commented by: krustster

    Yep this album is a lot of fun. I remember the controversy over “Cop Killer” when it came out… I was just a lad, but still! I’m loving “Talk Shit, Get Shot” especially.

  9. Commented by: krustster

    Niggas ain’t blew up the spot in a while… muthafucka ain’t gotten SHOT in a while! haha

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