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DVD Review: Body Count – Live in L.A.

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I’m watching this Body Count live DVD, and the main thing I’ve gotta say is “holy shit.” I gotta say I’m impressed. I dug BC back in the day, even though half the people in rap and rock prolly wrote them off as a novelty act. But, man, Ice-T has a very legit, hardcore metal band to bust out songs with, despite the deaths of three of the original members. Apparently shortly after the first album, the original drummer, Beatmaster, died of leukemia. Mooseman, the original bassist, died in a drive-by. So there’s been some tragedy, which explains why the crew only dropped two more albums (which I never copped) after their debut.

Just as I’ve put on a bit of a paunch since my college days, so has Ice. And Ernie C (lead guitar) has a few wrinkles around the eyelids, but damn he can go ballistic on a guitar. If you don’t remember, or you never knew, BC had some jams, and I never realized how well it would translate to a live show. A song that sounds kinda goofy, if not a little catchy, like “Voodoo,” as a studio track, is a perfect rock song live. Simple with extremely heavy hooks, plenty of room to fuck around, and Ice-motherfucking-T belting out the lyrics like a chainsaw dipped in battery acid.

Man, you will not see Ernie motherfucking C. put up as some guitar god next to Randy Rhoads or Yngwie, but I am fucking impressed with his overall performance on this disc as well as his solo in “Evil Dick.” Unbelievable. I’m not saying God came down from heaven and anointed Ernie with the chalice of wisdom or any shit like that, but it’s nice. Very nice. And anybody who says otherwise is probably way smarter or way stupider than me, but I’ll throw a few bones on the latter. I just watched it again, and goddamm. Homey is holding his guitar upside down, balancing it like an umbrella on his hand, throwing it on the ground. All this and the thing’s still wailing and doing exactly what the fuck he wants it to; his picking is impeccable in its master crafstmanship.

The performance is live at the Troubador in L.A., which adds to the intensity as this is Ice’s homebase. He went to high school with all the original members, which I didn’t know. The group has been out of commission and off the radar for a while (although I guess they had a tour in 2004). So there’s the comeback factor, plus they’re filming a DVD; it all adds up to a hell of a performance and worth a few bucks to pick this goddamm thing up and crank the volume past 10.

Congrats to Body Count on the comeback and I hope we haven’t seen the last of them, yet again. Peace.

Notice how I made it through this whole thing without mentioning the whole “Cop Killer” controversy? That would be pretty damn 1982 of me, I thought. So discuss it among yourselves if you gotta, but Dan Quayle (was that who it was?) can still eat a dick up. I will say in postscript that looking through the Yahoo reviews I noticed some guy saying he paid a $100 for the original CD with this song on it. Wow. (The song was cut from later pressings due to political pressure.) Makes me glad I grabbed and still have the original.

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