I Set My Friends On Fire

You Can't Spell Slaughter Without Laughter

Written by: PP on 11/11/2008 15:05:10

The story of how I Set my Friends On Fire begun, how they got signed, how they got famous, and how they sound today contains all the ingredients for them to win the nomination for the most hated band by the press and music elitists alike: Two dudes made a growly screamo cover of RnB superstar Soulja Boy's "Crank That" as a joke, it received a million or so plays on Myspace despite how terrible the original song is, this caught Epitaph's attention who then proceeded to sign the band, and now they've extended their electro-nintendo scene-screamo over a course of 12 tracks, each with a title contending to be the most ridiculous of 2008. Boom baby, everyone hates this band, and much of the hate is (as usual) without a reason if the reviewers actually bothered to listen to this record more than just once.

Granted, the first impression of the band is beyond terrible. First off, the intro track "Sh!t It Talks...I'm Out Of Here" has the two dudes talking shit together and some stupid alien monster making irritating noise on the background...it's fucking useless. What follows is the one and a half minute "Brief Interviews With Hideous Men", which is simply senseless scream after senseless scream with a few effect-laden clean vocals thrown in just for the sake of having them there. Still fucking terrible, so much so that most reviewers have probably only listened to this track and skipped to "Crank That", concluding that the album sucks the big one. And that's a damn shame, because already the next track, "Beauty In The Eyes Of The Beerholder", contains a pretty catchy clean chorus and some good riffing, even if the throat-aching growl-screaming is still as bad as it was on the previous track.

But what all the reviewers and haters are missing out on is "Things That Rhyme With Orange", a massive hit that's so irresistibly catchy that there's no way you wouldn't be singing along to the effect-laden clean vocals in the chorus, dance to the electro-nintendo synth soundscapes or mosh frantically to the 'br00tal' breakdown in the middle of the song. To say this song isn't one of the catchiest songs to come out of this genre this year means you are flat out lying. Fair enough, the next "ASL" is merely decent, the instrumental "Interlude" sounds like the band ran out of ideas, and the opening "WHATTHEFUCK!?!" of "Ravenous, Ravenous, Rhinos" is superficial, even if the band proceeds to sound just like HORSE The Band in parts of the track. Oh and then there's "Hxc 2-step", which will be the focus of my hate for the next few sentences: what kind of idiot thought it'd be cool to make a largely a-capella SCREAMO RAP song that starts off with lyrics "This sounds like the reaction your girlfriend makes when you just told her you have an STD in bed, I SET MY FRIENDS ON FIRE, BITCH"? This song is honestly the worst thing I've heard in several years now, I hate it so much that I really want to give this band 1/10 just because of this song.

Nonetheless, "WTFWJD" introduces some groovy riffs (which the entire album has been almost completely devoid of) and it again has a chorus to KILL for. The mixture of throat-destroying screaming and pro-tooled clean singing shouldn't ever work on paper, but abracadabra, like magic, it works insanely good here, this is pure screamo-godhood people. The same goes for "But The Nuns Are Watching", even if its riffs are almost identical to "WTFWJD", and to the album finisher "Reese's Pieces, I Don't Know Who John Cleese Is?".

Yeah, "You Can't Spell Slaughter Without Laughter" isn't a great record, but it isn't terrible either. It has its "ugh, please turn that shit off" moments, but then again, there are a couple of freaking excellent tracks that keep me coming back to this release day after day, here I'm thinking especially of "Things That Rhyme With Orange" and "WTFWJD". So for everyone who wants to be objective and ignore what the biased press and haters say, do go on to check out this band, but don't judge them JUST for "Crank That", there's much more to them than that. And you know what? They actually have a sound that's instantly attributable to only them and no one else than them.


Download: Things That Rhyme With Orange, WTFWJD, Reese's Pieces
For the fans of: HORSE The Band, Sky Eats Airplane, Dance Gavin Dance
Listen: Myspace

Release date 07.10.2008

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