Ramallah CD EP review [Bridge Nine]

Music Reviews
Ramallah CD EP review [Bridge Nine]
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Nov 26, 2002, 03:29

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RAMALLAH But a Whimper CD EP

Jumpin' Jihads! Ramallah takes its name from the battle-ravaged city in the Central West Bank at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. So, clearly, adversarial conditions are at the heart of the two-piece band's aggressive hardcore. It may seem surprising that Ramallah is the brainchild and handiwork of Rob “White Trash Rob” Lind—former vocalist for the white boy hardcore version of Geto Boys, Blood For Blood. But the personal politics of this album takes a logical step forward from that additionally astute, albeit deliberately nasty, band's TV talk show style fixation on being poor American white trash. Ramallah is a strange parallel to the SEHC duo Judge (which was the solo project from hard-line SE skinhead Mike Judge with Youth of Today guitarist John Porcelly) first and most obviously being a duo playing heartfelt songs written by a tough, street-fightin' man. But the parallel continues in the similarity between Lind's and Judge's gravelly, angry voices, the overdrive-pedal guitar tone and “old skool youth crew” hardcore song structures. Furthermore, both Judge and Lind make their struggles to stay clean of drugs and escape poverty so much more poignant than the typically upper class suburban straight edge kids' yearning to lead the glee club. Throughout the eight-song, 13-minute EP Ramallah hints that a subtle apocalypse has begun (perhaps sparked with a not-so-subtle flash on September 11, 2001) and all else leads to a stall. Thankfully, Lind's politics aren't about finger-pointing partisanship, but (like Blood For Blood) from the perspective of those affected by the fallout of social/cultural/religious conflict. But a Whimper is a herald of apocalypse, as in the words of T.S. Elliot: “This is the way the world ends/ Not with a bang but a whimper.” [Bridge Nine]

-Dave Clifford

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