REVIEW: Insane Clown Posse – Bang Pow Boom

insane_clown_posse_bang_pow_boomArtist: Insane Clown Posse [ICP]
Album: Bang Pow Boom
Genre: Hip Hop
Label: Psychopathic

Juggalos everywhere are downright insane over the return of Insane Clown Posse [generally referred to as “ICP”] to the music scene. The group just returned to the national scene last week by releasing their much [fan] awaited, Bang Pow Boom, but is there anything in it for the rest of us? You know, those outside the Juggalo world of debauchery, bad tattoos, and Faygo? I know many of you would flat out say no, but I decided to take the bullet for the rest of us and dig into Bang Pow Boom with an open mind and low expectations and the results are…well, let’s just start by saying I couldn’t have placed my expectations low enough.

Following a demonic introduction that conveys some dark story line that ties in the album title, we’re thrust into the world of ICP with, “Beautiful Doom,” which once again references the title of the album in what feels like a leftover beat from 90’s street rap. Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope take to the mic with their usual use of nasally choruses and mediocre lyrics, but I will say the structure of the track was quite impressive. The layering of the sound and use of bridges took me aside for a few moments and gave me hope for some evolution, but as soon as the second verse began, I knew that was just a dream. Though the song stood out great from a technical standpoint, the overall execution suffered terribly. This actually is a theme that occurs again and again throughout the record, great musical ideas that are destroyed as soon as someone decides to open their mouth. These guys are 10 albums into their career and have been rapping for nearly 20 years, you don’t need to act like “the king” or talk about how awesome you are, GROW!

As I listened to the record, I realized the main fault wasn’t the horrible mixture of lyrics and music, but rather the lyrics themselves. Each track is filled with the same general ideas of violence, drinking, partying, etc. There is little to no heart in the delivery of any of it and it honestly feels like nothing short of a 14 year old trying to sound cool to a bunch of high school seniors. In addition, I’ve done my research, at least 90% of the ideas and stories talked about have never and will never occur in the lives of Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope. It’s pointless word usage meant to do nothing, but cause parents to get angry and give kids another way to quoteunquote “rebel” from society.

Listen, if you want to rebel, that’s cool. We at UTG are all about stepping outside the national scene and defining good music on your own terms, but their are limits to what can qualify as “rebel” music. Simply boasting about dark lifestyles because it’s cool does not fall into this category and that’s exactly what ICP have built a career doing. Over the course of a ludicrous amount of tracks, Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent J do nothing to connect with their fans or further their careers as every line feels dead on arrival and the heart is simply not there. There is absolutely nothing explosive about Bang Pow Boom, in fact, it’s much more like: Try Fail Repeat.

Score: 1/10

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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  • Juggalotus

    im hungry. bowl of poop?

  • Snackskronik

    This critic can str8 up EAT A BOWL OF POOP

  • your an idiot

    Nothing to connect with their fans??? your an idiot

  • HektikCLOWN

    “I’ve done my research, at least 90% of the ideas and stories talked about have never and will never occur in the lives of Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope”

    No freakin way. I’ve done my research and they really are 100% serial killin, face painted, faygo flying, pedophile slaughting, dead body loving wicked clowns.

  • Looks like this album got #4 on the top 200. I think there is something wrong with this Review.

  • one of the worst reviews ive ever read…next time just run home to mommy crying instead of “reviewing” an album from a band which you obviously hate on!

    you dont know shit and your just whack so go eat a bowl of poop now bitch

  • yea go delete my comment because u cant stand the truth u fxcking wannabe “critic”

    go and try to make some music and u wont even reach 2% of what icp has reached u dumb wannabe

  • James

    I didn’t delete anything.

  • Laura

    lolol. the grammar makes the anger so ironicly hilarious in these comments. “u r so stupid n stuff jamez like your a idiot”

  • Pat_Bombers

    oh yeah, Q in laura don’t have any thing to say intill you do. Then she wants to talk shit. Get a real all natural brain with “Real” ideas of your own.

    Down the road emo kids, not across the steet

  • Pat_Bombers

    street** gotta watch my spelling laura would have to tell me all about it…

  • Chris L

    The album is about a mythical character ‘Bang Pow Boom’ that explosively and powerfully blows away and shreds thousands of pedophiles, biggots, wife-beaters, and in general, abusers of all kinds. Throughout the album there are examples of such people who get a strange phone call inviting them to Ash, Nevada to witness the Dark Carnival for themselves. They show up, and Bang Pow Boom shows itself in explosions of all kinds, killing all of those who were specifically invited to attend. Who wouldn’t be happy that all of the biggots, pedophiles, rapists and abusers would all be dealt with?? They are the true wretched of the earth. This critic didn’t listen, and very few ever do when it comes to the Clowns; the face-paint and violence tends to really influence those who are already prone to ‘hating on’ others to come out and act like they have something worthwhile to say. You have nothing worthwhile to say about this album, so for your own sake, shut your trap… oh and yea, in 2 Dope’s words, eat a bowl of poop bitch!

  • fuck you and your review. go eat a big bowl of poop bitch

  • Leon

    I can imagine you could critize ICP in a lot of ways. I mean, if you can’t stand the lyrics, that’s OK. I don’t give rat’s ass if you do, but OK. If people are stupid enough to let a reviewers opinion influence theirs, it’s cool you can make a job out of it (a sad way of making your living though, but hey…).

    But saying that ICP do nothing to connect their fans and whatnot?? They just don’t connect with you. It’s perfectly clear that a lot of juggalo’s are touched by BPB. And you know that. What kind of fucking pre-enlightment minded idiot do you need to be to get empirically proven facts and your useless opinion mixed up?

  • James

    How are these tales of lude lifestyles and violent acts connecting with an audience? and if it does, is it the kind of connnection we want?

  • James

    Are you reading what you’re typing? How does that connect with you?

  • James

    Blink has actually been working as a band about as long as your boys in ICP, but that’s besides the fact. I simply don’t see them re-inventing the hip hop hweel or even adding to it. It all sounds the same and I don’t mean just this album, but all of them. You can only reference your “hatchets” or whatever catchphrase your Spencer’s Gags and Gifts t-shirt has emblazed on it so many times before I’m going to move on. Listen, I’m down for the dark side of rap and the brutality they’re trying to convey, I’m just saying they aren’t doing anything now they didn’t do in 1994. That’s 15 years of stagnant rap.

    I appreciate your attempt to defend your favorite act. I respect that and wish more of your fellow juggalos acted in a similar way, but too often do they ship their opinions down the river by making some wise ass comment when in reality they’re the reason people hate Juggalos.

  • Ian

    Finally someone did this. The only good thing I ever heard from ICP was at the end of one their albums they confessed they were doing this for God. This was only good because it made me laugh. No way are you going to rap about having sex with dead bodies and killing people and still have a real relationship with God.

  • CLette

    The way I feel about ICP is something a non-fan would not understand. I can see how people get lost in the repetitive nature of ICP when they repeat common catch phrazes and very common juggalos termonology. But as a fan I have become accustomed to the jargin and it isn’t the main point of the music. It is only their style. This albumn is VERY different from a lot of ICP’s normal music. And many juggalos don’t like it as many didn’t like tempest. But if you are a true juggalo you know that there are diamonds in the ruff. There are always the songs that try new sounds and make us a little bit confused, but you gotta listen to it a couple times and understand what they are talking about before you make your final decision. Chris L made the best review for this albumn because it specifically seeks out the bad people in society and kills them. The antics are classic ICP and it does become a personal thing to a fan.

    If you have ever been to a gathering, or a small concert venue where you were drenched in faygo and chanting the common juggalo terms the whole time, you know what it feels like to be personally connected to these guys. They are more then just dedicated to their fans. They are humble mutha fakoos who love each and every juggalo and don’t care what anyone else says about it.

  • Chris L

    3 platinum, 2 gold albums, 20 years, no mainstream help, all on their own merit… hate em or love them, they are a true music anomaly.

  • Chris L

    besides, as Clette put it, go to a show, see the crowd, feel the excitement, and get sticky… then, and only then will you understand the connection. ICP and their fans do not take themselves too seriously and neither should anyone else, in fact, grab a 2-liter, unscrew the top, cork it with your palm, shake it up real nice, and kick it into the air… or bust it on someone’s head… its crazy, its ridiculous, its goofy, its a release, and we all need one kind or another. ….. “You wanna keep it real? Walk out your door, thats as real as it gets from the sky to the floor…But the Dark Carnival will take your soul away, and give you mythical adventure in a magical way!”

  • molly jane

    umm wtf first ICP sings about fucking peoples moms and eating pussy and now they sing about miracles and getting rid of the evil in the world. The only purpose they have for they’re songs is to add as many cuss words as they can so 15 and 16 year olds can blast it to piss off their parents. when all of you “juggalo’s” grow up hopefully you’ll realize what good music really consists of.

  • FuckyourFace


    You should not reveiw something you do not understand stick to your Emo bullshit

  • Here’s the thing… the attention/hits that UTG gets from this article alone (the hate-ICP-to-get-clicks gimmick is about as old as the bands’ first major label release) will dwarf anything they have ever done, ever.

    As a published and syndicated music columnist, I suggest meeting your deadlines and doing research on upcoming bands with promise or respected bands that are failing. I, too, have been asked for 500 words by noon. Nice job copping out by dissing the rap skills of a white duo who pens titles like “Juggalo Island” and “Bang Pow Boom”.

    Dead Prez just dropped some new shit. So did KRS-1.

    They’re rappers in case you didn’t know.

  • Oh, and speaking out about relevance and social contribution… Kayne West. Gimme the mic, bitch… It’s not ICP that’s alienating their fans. It’s the entire industry. It’s self-important douchebaggery. Bred by folks like yourself.

  • Harlan

    Wow… I have to ask…. did this critic even listen to the album? Or is he just going off of all the typical b.s. he can dig up about ICP? Either Way its in accurate! First off, of course they’re never gonna do 90% of the stuff they sing about in there songs! Is Arnold REALLY a Terminator?! Damn! I mean come on, get serious! They’re storytellers! No different then Dylan, Waits, Cash, ext.! They just tell a different story! And however EXTREAMLY different the storyline may be… never the less, its still just a story! So come on… Weather you like them or not… give them the credit they deserve!

  • Layla

    You guys need to come up with something a little more unique, instead of just repeatedly telling James to “eat a bowl of poop.”

    Maybe after 5 or 6 years of prison, you guys will get the point, because anyone who can stomach listening to what they have to say is going about things in a screwed up manner.

    Mmm; I love listening to white guys rap obscenities about raping people’s moms and wanting to get with 13 year old girls.

  • James

    Have i told you I love you recently? hahaha. Awesome!

  • Layla

    well I speak the truth. Every person I know that obsesses over something enough to refer to themselves as juggolos is either in jail, or on their way to jail.

  • Sourfunk

    Well, I’m a 40 year old professional with a wife and 3 kids. My wife is a RN and works at a local hospital and does home care volunteer work for the elderly. We both have college degrees and raise our children with a great deal or morality and are strict in our ways but…

    We love us some ICP

    bottom line is you get the joke or you don’t and we do. Oct 20th we will have a babysitter and be in Rochester NY front row to get our Fago showers and then we will come home and tell our children to do homework and we will return to work the following day and contribute to society like a “Normal” people.

    Can I still be a Juggalo? I would like to think so :)

  • James

    You sir, are an oddity. Kudos to you for coming to defend your favorite band with intelligent insight.

  • 2Fat

    You sir need to listen to the album again and re-review it cause you obviously have a mis-conception of what half the songs on the album are about, Miracles for instance that song is way cool and its bout real shit homie. My advice is listen to the shit and listen thoroughly hell if you must listen to 3 or 4 times, I had to, your review is garbage and if this is how all your reviews are I really wanna know how you still have a job, its honestly like you didn’t even listen to the album!

  • Beast

    I’d say that 90% of you fagalos trying to defend ICP give any decent fan of theirs a bad name. I truly feel bad for the 10% of their fan base that aren’t degenerate fuckos that even their friends try to avoid. Yes, james is an emo bitch, but he also listens to all the music he reviews extensively. I feel bad that he even had to review this album because I’m damn sure no one else on his staff wanted to either.

  • Psynyde

    Quote:Maybe after 5 or 6 years of prison, you guys will get the point, because anyone who can stomach listening to what they have to say is going about things in a screwed up manner.

    Mmm; I love listening to white guys rap obscenities about raping people’s moms and wanting to get with 13 year old girls.:Quote

    :Facepalm: SMH

  • kauffmaniac

    I hate to interrupt the pissing contest going on here, but I am an ICP fan, have seen them in concert five or six times, and I am NOT impressed with the new album. True, it has it’s moments (In Yo Face, To Catch A Predator) but this is in no way a return to form. Honestly, every ICP release since Bizaar/Bizzar (which could have been a good album if they had just made one instead of two albums half full of filler) has just kinda gotten worse, culminating with “The Calm”, which has almost no redeeming value whatsoever. FTFO and The Tempest were not as bad but that in no way means they are any good. It seems that juggalos are becoming the equivalent of delusional Phish fans who even think dreck like “Round Room” is genius. I will always love Ringmaster, Riddle Box & Milenko, but those albums were made when ICP was hungry and broke with lots to prove. That time is long gone. Mike E. Clark has retuned, but even he seems a little short on ideas and most of the personality of the beats he once made with the clowns is gone. This album sounds too similar to everything else out there, and that CANNOT be said about the music he produced for Riddle Box & Milenko, which can’t be confused for anything but old school ICP. It’s not as bad as 1/10, but I couldn’t give it much more than a 4/10. Now all those commenters who have no ability to use punctuation and/or correct grammar can feel free to flame me all you like, but honestly, if you think this album is the best they have ever done or it deserves 10/10, than you are full of shit and I could give two fucks about your worthless opinion anyway. So there.

  • J.R.B

    all i gotta say to this review is summed up in the song “fuck the world” go give it a listen to…. Whoop Whoop!

  • Xero

    Concidering ICP has almost no or very little mainstream support, saying it doesn’t connect to fans is a pretty ironic statement concidering it’s the juggalo fanbase that keeps them in business. Reaching a billboard rank of #4 with 50 000 sales in the first week as well as sold out venues on their tour for the album tends to show quite a bit of fan connection. You’ll never change the minds of juggalos reading your reviews, but you’re entitled to your own personal opinion of the album. I’m personally a big fan of the album due to the addition of a hint of punk to a few of the tracks (the bone, bang pow boom) almost in the style of Kottonmouth Kings. Music is all about taste, and I’m proud to add a bit of zany serial slaughtering to my mix. Current ipod additions: Brand New – Daisy, ICP – Bang Pow Boom, The Mountain Goats – new album leaked on the net which I dont have the title for XD

  • Randy

    2fat – “you obviously have a mis-conception of what half the songs on the album are about, Miracles for instance that song is way cool and its bout real shit homie….”

    hahahahaha, thats fantastic. “For instance that song is way cool”….YES! I love mentally handicapped people.

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  • juggalo T

    go fuck your self if u dont like it stay out of r way

  • Donrex1943

    From a non-juggalo ICP fan that actually knows the English langauage: you realize… the point of the album right? From Wikipedia: “…The album was later revealed to be the first Joker’s Card of a “second deck.”[8] Bang! Pow! Boom! is a character within the Dark Carnival[9] which Bruce describes as a “continuous explosion that stomps his way through the crowd blowing […] evil souls […] to Hell”.[10] The album features a series of skits in which rednecks, pedophiles, and husbands who abuse their wives receive phone calls inviting them to the Dark Carnival, where they are promised US$100,000 for arriving.”