Star Fucking Hipsters

From The Dumpster To The Grave

Written by: PP on 26/11/2011 20:58:55

Don't judge the book by its cover absolutely applies to "From The Dumpster To The Grave", the third full-length from Star Fucking Hipsters, whose horrific black & white artwork is probably enough grounds for many to never check out what's inside. That's a shame. SFH have had consistency issues on both of their albums before this one, so there's further reason to not be all too excited for this one, but "From The Dumpster To The Grave" finally delivers on the potential that a band featuring ex-members of Leftöver Crack and The Ergs has. It is undeniably their best album to date, simply miles better than either one of its predecessors, and one hell of a catchy punk rock record that is perhaps the closest to the raw, unadulterated idea of 80s punk rock that you'll find on Fat Wreck Chords.

But whilst SFH like their raw, unpolished guitars and screamed left-wing politics, they are simultaneously cashing in on songwriting that is nothing short of infectious. "The Broken Branches" is the best song Star Fucking Hipsters have written to date, featuring a ridiculously catchy chorus, where Kelsey's delicate female vocals overlay the screamed male vocals to a great effect, and "Death Is Never Out Of Fashion" is ska-punk godhood through-and-through with its easy-going ska beat and funky bass lines (think 90s NOFX here), with a soaring chorus that works as a great contrast because of its swift return to the realm of raw punk rock. At the same time, if you're a closet The Exploited fan with a stereotypically punk look featuring spiked hair, leather jacket and at least a dozen piercings, you'll find much to like on "The Spoils Of War" and its breakneck speed of pure original punk rebellion. Now, if you're into dancing and skanking, the Cuban rhythms of "¡Otra Vez!" is where it's at. The lyrics, too, vary between extreme left political commentary, but also interesting points of view, such as a song about the Vietnam War from the Vietnamese point of view ("War Widows Vietnam").

In other words, there's a great deal of variety on "From The Dumpster To The Grave", but unlike their earlier albums, all styles have their own unique strengths, and all styles are darn catchy. It goes without saying, but let me just re-iterate: this is easily the catchiest SFH release to date, and nearly all songs triumph everything the band has done in the past. That said, it's still very much a 'basement' punk style record. The songs are designed for small, sweaty, intimate venues and likely won't fare well on larger stages at Festivals and in places where they are unable to create that feeling of intimacy between the band and the crowd. And in the grand scheme of things, "From The Dumpster To The Grave" probably won't matter much, but in the context of this year alone, it's a real catchy record that successfully combines old school punk rebellion with ska punk melodies.

Download: The Broken Branches, War Widows Vietnam, ¡Otra Vez!
For the fans of: 90s-era NOFX, Anti-Flag, Leftöver Crack,
Listen: Myspace

Release date 11.10.2011
Fat Wreck Chords

Star Fucking Hipsters "Death is Never Out of Fashion" by Fat Wreck Chords

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