A seven-song slice of propaganda for this summer's Rock the Bells, The Ghetto Blaster EP drops obligatory covers, a remix, and a few new tracks, but Street Sweeper Social Club still have the feel of guitarist Tom Morello and rapper Boots Riley killing time until their respective outfits reconvene.
Trying M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes" on for size today is akin to aping "Crazy" after Gnarls Barkley already nabbed a Grammy for it: too late and too easy. A take on "Mama Said Knock You Out," devoid of the LL Cool J snarl, brims with lethargy, and the retooling of "Everythang" by Riley's left-wing band the Coup sounds like an Urban Dance Squad retread. Originals "Scars" and the title track are saved by the MC's ever-clever quips ("Me and two friends who share a pager/So every three days I swear I'm major"), plus a delivery that complements his guitarist's dedication to funkadelica.
The Guitar Fury Remix of "Promenade," the best song on last year's Street Sweeper Social Club debut, is the highlight, with Riley going militant while Morello indulges in those signature space-age histrionics that will have you wishing Rage Against the Machine would get back in the studio already.