Rap-rock group Street Sweeper Social Club have been hyped as a supergroup. They’re actually Tom Morello’s side project with Boots Riley from the Coup, an Oakland hip-hop group who haven’t even made the Billboard 200.
And there’s nothing super about their debut release; Morello beats heavy guitar riffs into the ground and Riley raps about grabbing “your partner by the chaps” and giving them a “pimp slap.” The blithe, lyrical approach is misplaced in the context of Morello’s domineering, effects-laden guitar sound.
“Clap for the Killers” sees Riley prattling on about giving “it up for the gangstas” as Morello plays a repetitive guitar passage for four minutes straight. The one bright spot — Morello’s bristling solo on “Fight! Smash! Win!” — is almost ruined by Riley’s flimsy wit: “Politicians are puppets, y’all let’s get Geppetto.” Other than the supergroup label, that’s the lamest thing on or about Street Sweeper’s debut.