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June 19, 2024

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Melting Pot
Polarities of Paradox (Stiff Dog Records)

By: Alex Steininger

Melting Pot is an eight-piece band from San Pedro, California. With a very unique sound (to say the least), these guys fuse so many different styles it's hard to put a finger on one label that sums everything they're about. Blending funk, ska, jazz, hip-hop, hardcore, punk, and metal the outcome is what I like to refer to as "roller coaster dance."

"As I see It" sets the tone for the whole album. A brief thirty-eight seconds, this song is a mess of horns, whistles, and other noises meshed together. "Time To Change" doesn't offer any more hope. With its bad fusion of hardcore and hip-hop trying to battle with a bit of a jazz feeling, the song wears out its welcome, lasting over five minutes. "Sirtet" sheds some light on this album, as the powerful horns burst through the air, adding to a very bouncy atmosphere that attacks your feet and gets you moving. Strong and very upbeat, every time I listen to this number I start jumping up and down. A very well done instrumental. Too bad not all songs don't pack the punch that "Sirtet" does. The rest of the album roller coasters between good moments and low moments. "Pockets," although not musically strong, has a lot of humor to it. As a guy rants about putting the thing he needs at the bottom of his pocket, because "I didn't think I would need it," this number gets me both smiling and thinking about what he has to say every time I listen to it. More of a poet-ish number with the music serving as background atmosphere, this song still has enough wisdom to stick out among the other fifteen tracks. Other than those two numbers, nothing else dug their claws inside of me and forced me to listen. I will admit though, the remaining numbers did have a few high moments in them, although the lower moments seemed to flush them away.

Melting Pot is original and has a very unique sound, I'll give them that. Too bad the sound gets lost in its own quest to be different. Too different, too weird, this album seemed like someone put all their influences in a blender and didn't bother to test the final product before serving it to their guests. I'll give this album a D+.

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