Coming off a three album streak that mirrored the latest Star Wars trilogy in terms of mediocrity, it's pretty safe to say that only the diehard fans of (hed)p.e. are still onboard for the ride. However, while the bands glory days effectively ended when a major line-up change took place back after 2003's "Blackout"; (hed) have soldiered on and while their latest releases have been little more than forgettable, "Insomnia" is actually a step back in the right direction.
Essentially it finds the band paring down their style to its skeletal core strengths. The songs feel raw and without excess layering or forced experimentation, they visibly capture the aggression behind them. Sure there is still childish misogynistic ravings and the espousing of drugs, sex, violence and of course political subtext all taking charge. But with the barebones songwriting capturing the bands increasingly punk, rather than nu-metal or reggae, riffage and lo-fi rap forays, it somehow tends to stick.
For as borderline anemic as most of the musicianship on this album is, it's still rife with enough snarling visceral energy to it to see it through. Does that mean (hed)p.e. will be putting the whole 'rapcore' movement back on the map anytime soon? No, but that's not to say they are even the cliche definition of such a genre tag anymore. Instead the band have moved more into their own comfortable niche territory, much like those held by Necro or label mates the Kottonmouth Kings. Confrontational, mildly controversial and yet oddly comfortable.
(2.5 / 5)