A Review of Captial X by Xombie
By Kevin Tshiamala
The genre, whether you call it hood metal rap, rock rap or plain old metal is rather conflicting. When digging pass the surface the complexities that lie within the separate demographics of the individual genres that have intertwined to form this new one, has yet to do the same for its audience. Next in line to challenge this separation is New York City’s Xombie and their recently released album Capital X.
Xombie is a “hood metal” band that formed in New York City in February, 2010. The band consists of Atom Crews (lead vocals), Robert “Fish” Fishkin (lead guitar), Roy Galvan (lead guitar), “Cadillac” Michael Martabano (bass), and Eric Castillo (drums). The album starts off with “Veloca Rapper;” a hard hitting, quick rap song with surprisingly above par instrumentation and flavor. Next up is the album’s first single, “Rock Bottom.” The music video for “Rock Bottom” stars world-famous backyard brawler and UFC fighter Kimbo Slice and Fuse TV host, Juliya Chernetsky, and was directed by Oren Sarch (Pi (film), Requiem for a Dream). The song is more System of a Down than RATM and more hair metal than rock pop despite the melodic breakdown.
“Rotten Apple” should have been the highlighted chosen single. Displaying Xombie’s musical diversity with varying rhythms, harmonizing, call and response, guitar solos, great lyrics and instrumentation, it is definitely the best track off of Capital X. Mostly because where most metal style songs fail, repetitiveness, basic time signatures, and stuck in time lyrics, “Rotten Apple” succeeds. The album closes out with “Hummingbird,” which is a more accessible tune with a nice sharp rhythmic guitar melody, good lyrics, a gnarly drum solo and a catchy hook.
The separation between the appeal of the individual genres that form hood metal, at least in this album, are not quiet yet together. It still feels as if the rap and the metal were layered on top of one another instead of molded to compliment one another. Regardless, with the seven tracks on Capital X, Xombie displayed their capabilities to create music comparable to their predecessors, RATM, who took the world by storm with this style of music. The future is bright for these fellas out of New York. As vocalist/rapper Adam Cruz says “New York City can be the most unforgiving place in the world if you let it beat you. But if you keep playing the game, eventually you’ll win big. That’s what this album is about.”