"The best noisemakers are not necessarily the best peacemakers," declares a sputtering sample on DJ Swamp's debut. Indeed, amity is not the forte of the racket-lusting Swamp. Last time the Cleveland native was in town, opening for the Crystal Method at the Agora last summer, he scratched records into vinyl bits, then spun the shattered remnants before setting things on fire and literally climbing the theater's walls. As unhinged as Swamp is on stage, he's even more so on wax. This is evident on Now Is Never, on which Swamp marries the bombast of rock with buckshot beats.
At times this union is brazen -- most notably on cuts like "Halo of Static," on which Swamp lays Slaytanic riffs over jackhammer beats, or the Atari Teenage Riotous acid bath of "Repossessed." But even when Swamp isn't spiking fader free-for-alls with pitch-shifted power chords, the fustian overdrive of hard rock is palpable. "Feed the Hand That Bites You" is a tutorial on Technics liquefaction, "Worship the Robots" is a B-boy take on Radiohead's "Fitter, Healthier," while the schizophrenic, third-eye squeegee of "Wheatgrass and Razor Blades" is like the Butthole Surfers on cleaner acid. Indeed, the only time Swamp falters on Now Is Never is when he takes to the mic to bust lyrical impotence in a voice as whiny as an 11-year-old at bedtime, pleading for another hour of TV. Moreover, his rhymes suggest that his hair is longer than his vocabulary. Told you he was metal.