I Set My Friends On Fire

Astral Rejection

Written by: PP on 13/09/2011 18:07:42

It's funny how quickly things change in the music world. Three years ago when I Set My Friends On Fire released their debut album "You Can't Spell Slaughter Without Laughter", which was spearheaded by the senseless screamed breakdown version of Soulja Boy's "Crank That", they were considered by many to be the lowest common denominator in the music industry, a band to be loathed and, if possible, stoned to death for their offenses against good taste. Since then, the industry has seen its standards drop so significantly that today, I Set My Friends On Fire's music sounds almost like a fucking art form compared to the products of horrific 'bands' like BrokenCyde, Hollywood Undead, 3OH!3, Design The Skyline, and many others. Anyone else think that the industry is heading in the wrong direction?

But despite their tendency to spend entire songs in never-ending breakdowns and nonsensical screaming, "...Laughter" did have a few positive sides to it. "Things That Rhyme With Orange", for instance, was ridiculously catchy, easily one of the best neon-core tracks I've heard to date. The same applies to "WTFWJD" as well. Their sophomore album "Astral Rejection" takes a slightly different approach to songwriting, chopping away bits and pieces from both ends of the band's sound. On one hand, there are less ear-shattering breakdowns and screaming so harsh one contemplates switching to stereo speakers from good quality headphones, and on the other extreme, the choruses and melodies have become more anonymous, and in many cases, more boring. So where I could previously justify giving a decent rating to their debut album, the sophomore album has simply removed all the (few) qualities they had and replaced them with nothingsaying, generic sections. Sure, the band still writes a brutal song like "Narcissismfof" or "Erectangles", they still load up on autotune enough to stop a Zombie apocalypse, but there isn't a single song with a melody to die for, a hummable neon/electronically induced passage, or a screaming session so outrageously aggressive that it'd be worth singling out in this review.

All of this is in stark contrast to the band's own abilities, which have improved both in terms of song structure and instrumental ability. The songs now all have a point and a red thread, albeit not a very interesting one. There are technically advanced guitars and interesting interplays between neon / electro and vocals, but none which intrigue the listener enough to care about the song, or let alone the album, as a whole. So while I Set My Friends On Fire started as a quirky social experiment on how awful music one could write that would eventually become successful, they've now become a real band, which works against their repulsive charm in more ways than you can imagine. So the band anno 2011 sounds like a generic neoncore outfit with little to offer to even fans of the genre.

Download: Astral Rejection, It Comes Naturally
For the fans of: Sky Eats Airplane, Attack Attack!, Asking Alexandria, We Butter The Bread With Butter
Listen: Myspace

Release date 21.06.2011

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