Thursday, April 14, 2005

Mindless Self Indulgence - You'll Rebel to Anything CD Review

Mindless Self Indulgence are one of those bands that will leave you either amazed at their unique breed of music or completely confused as to why so many people are caught up by what they do. Knowing that, You’ll Rebel to Anything is actually the best MSI release for a listener new to their style of chaotic music to try out. As opposed to previous efforts, this release is actually quite song oriented and even has a more polished feel than anything they’ve done in the past. There’s still a good amount of crazy, dark, schizophrenic, industrialized, new wave antics to keep MSI fans happy, however, so people already familiar with what MSI do don’t have to worry about a watering down of their style.

After the six years it’s been since their previous release, You’ll Rebel to Anything has some very high expectations attached to it. For the most part these expectations are met. There isn’t anything outright disappointing about the album other than that there really isn’t much to it. With only 10 tracks playing out over the span of a little more than 26 minutes, this supposed full length feels much more like an appetizer that was thrown out to whet over our appetite until something more substantial can be created.

Oddly enough, the schizophrenic nature associated with MSI is both at its creative peak and it’s most restrained on this album. Instead of every track being a random piece of craziness, each track can definitely be pinned down as a song. In fact, by taking on a very song oriented approach, MSI are able to keep themselves from wandering down paths that would lead away from the focus of the album. In the past this was easily one of their biggest problems, but it has now been solved… for the most part. From the length of the cd, the number of tracks, and the application of some rudimentary math, you can probably figure out that each song averages out to be about two and a half minutes long, which isn’t always a lot of time for MSI to express all of their inherent musical insanity.

With their newfound restraint, each song on this cd is very accessible while still maintaining the very distinct MSI sound that has been mimicked but never successfully copied. A few tracks that deserve particular mention are “Tom Sawyer”, “Straight to Video”, and “Stupid MF”. Of all the artists for MSI to cover, I never would have thought Rush to be one of them, but on here they give “Tom Sawyer” a definitive MSI overhaul, creating what may be one of the most interesting covers to be made in quite some time. “Straight to Video”, being the longest song on the disc at nearly 4 minutes long, is also easily the best track on the disc. It feels very restrained, by MSI standards, throughout the first 2 minutes before it hits a killer patch of keyboard craziness to segue into the last minute and a half where everything slows down, again by MSI standards, to give you a unique take on the band’s new-found song oriented approach. “Stupid MF”, on the other hand, is just uptempo, crazy fun that every MSI fan will get off on.

Again, the biggest drawback to this disc is the lack of material on it. After waiting nearly six years, a lot of fans are going to feel cheated, but even at only 26 minutes this cd is 10 times better than a good majority of the crap that’s been put out during that six year wait, so enjoy it for what it is—a breath of fresh air and a unique musical creation.

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