Insane Clown Posse
Insane Clown Posse has resuscitated the Dark Carnival, the stylistic theme that carried the gruesome twosome through its popular series of albums known as Joker's Cards, and which was thought to have wrapped with 2004's "Hell's Pit" album. The group's new "Bang Pow Boom" sees the rebirth of the Dark Carnival, and marks the best material the Clowns have touched since 1999's "The Amazing Jeckel Brothers."
That's thanks in large part to the full-fledged return of the ICP's longtime producer Mike E. Clark, who hasn't worked with them in this capacity since 2000's "Bizzar" and "Bizaar" albums. The ensuing years saw the Clowns spinning their wheels, but they sound reinvigorated on "Bang Pow Boom," which is packed with enough hooks, chants and stellar riffs to tide the Juggalo Nation over through a year's supply of Faygo. The Clowns have always done their best work with Clark, who lends Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope an appropriately demented sonic palate with which to play. His adventurous tracks encompass circus sounds, surf-rock guitars and left-field samples, and the result is uniquely ICP.
Yes, the Clowns are still as cartoonishy violent and gleefully juvenile as ever, dispensing their warped brand of justice by attacking racists, wife beaters, pedophiles and rednecks -- like the Inglorious Basterds in greasepaint. But the backing tracks are more upbeat, for lack of a better word, and some of them -- "Love," for example -- even have enough pep to be club tracks. Being that the subject matter is still mostly concerned with dead bodies, ancient curses or acts of violence and revenge, the audience remains limited to either teenage boys or those who already bow at the altar of the Dark Carnival.