If – Mindless Self Indulgence

Msi_if_coverRelease Year: 2008

Rating: 8/10

MSI’s fourth album caused a divide between their fans. There are some who loved it and there were others who claimed the band went mainstream and that it sucked for the most part. At first I couldn’t understand the hatred for the album. I fell in love with it as soon as I heard it. But after listening to it again, I can see why some people were upset. While I wouldn’t claim the band went mainstream, I do think they changed their sound and tone for this LP. Rather than every song being a punch in the face, they seem to lighten up on some of their tracks. But this doesn’t mean the album is terrible (that would be their 2013 release).

The album gets off to a strong start with the track “Never Wanted to Dance.” It’s a really fun song full of great energy and music to get you dancing. Their blend of electronic, 8-bit, and rock music gets you pumped for the rest of the album. In other words, it’s a standard MSI song. The change starts to come in during “Evening Wear.” It’s a catchy track that has their snide commentary on the superficiality of our society. But something about it doesn’t sound as in your face as their other songs. The gritty electronic music is pretty intense, but it never feels like Jimmy Urine is spitting out his message only inches away from your face. It doesn’t make the song any worse; it’s just a notable change.

While some of the tracks are toned down the band’s sharp wit is still present. “Prescription” is a clever commentary on addiction to prescription pills. During the track Jimmy fights with himself, going between rejecting the drugs and wanting them. With more of the electronic sound and some light guitar during the pre-chrous, the music comes off as playful even though the topic is kind of heavy. It shows that he’s kind of making fun of those who claim to need those drugs just to get on stage. “Mastermind” seems to address those who feel superior enough to begin killing others (ala Columbine). It actually makes sense since Urine references Columbine and sirens can be heard in the background. The only thing I don’t get is why he sings “Oh Pennsylvania” during the bridge. Any ideas?

The closer “Mark David Chapman” is another really energetic and fun track. This one makes fun of bands who only make music for money and thinks their fans are stupid. One line I think is really funny is when the greedy bands make fun of those who do it because they believe in it by saying “You’re so fucking lame!” The chorus calls on Mark Chapman to get rid of these money grubbing bands who want to take advantage of their fans. One thing that makes this track kind of weird is Urine’s mother speaking Spanish throughout. It doesn’t take anything away from the track, but it’s kind of odd. The one thing that does kill the song is the bridge where Urine takes on a British accent and calls on the hounds. I don’t know why it’s there, but it does kill the mood.

Their known hip-hop influences come out in full on the tracks “Issues” and “Animal.” The latter song has harsh, intense music similar to that of their older material. Everything from the beat to the way Urine sings screams of hip-hop. There’s one part where the music gets out of control where you can’t even keep up with it. It’s a great way to get listeners pumped. “Issues” keeps the hip-hop sound with booming music that sounds like it’s pounding at full volume from a stereo. It’s a great songs, but the only problem is the singing style. It sounds like he’s drunk. Sometimes it’s okay, but it has the tendency to get annoying. While their love for rap and hip-hop isn’t as present here, it’s good to know they didn’t completely abandon it.

One of the weirdest and funniest tracks here is “Get It Up.” Yes, it is about what you think it is. All throughout the song Urine shouts how he wants to “make some babies” but just can’t get it up. There’s also a line about making money but not wanting a job that I don’t really get. The closest thing I can think of is he wants to get it up to do porn to make money. Another thing that makes the song funny is how the high pitched music sounds like Gir from Invader Zim singing. It’s one of those songs you may not want to sing out loud around others. “Revenge” is another great track that plays with a cheer motif. Lyn-z even says they need to practice the cheer during the intro. Even though this part sounds forced and corny, it’s still really fun and full of energy. It has heart racing music that’s gets you going and Urine’s wit is on point. One of the best lines here is “I’m gothalicious with cheese.” If anything it’s another track that gets you pumped up and ready to fight.

One thing about the album is it relies a lot on repetition. On some tracks like, “Pay For It” it works, but on others it makes the song dull. Tracks like “Due,” “Money,” and “Bomb This Track” are pretty good, but they are not the best. If you’re in the right mood it could be the best thing ever. Otherwise, the repetition and the standard music has the tendency to make these songs just okay. They more seem like filler. Even though they’re not bad, it feels like the album wouldn’t be affected if these tracks were removed or replaced with the bonus tracks found oversea editions of the LP.

Overall, the album gets 8/10. When compared to their other releases, it is a weaker album. But it’s still full of fun, energetic, and crazy songs we expect from MSI. Some of them shows off their clever wit, while others come off as flat and dull. They do tone down their sound and their in-your-face attitude a bit for the LP, but if you’re willing to overlook this you’ll find a fun album. It’s definitely no their best work, but certainly better than their latest release.

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