CD Review

Mindless Self Indulgence - “You'll Rebel to Anything”

By Dan Century

You'll Rebel to AnythingIt's been over five years since Frankenstein Girls Will Seem Strangely Sexy hit the stores back in February of 2000. Since that time, the stock market crashed, Bush became president, 9/11 happened and the US has gone to war in Iraq. The music industry has changed as well:

· Major labels have merged and consolidated.
· "Big Box" stores like conservative Wal-Mart and Best Buy have eliminated most of their competition by pricing new releases below cost, as well as influencing the type of music labels offer (i.e.: safe, boring, disposable music).
· Radio stations have also merged and consolidated, and have become even more boring and homogenized than ever.
· Shock jocks are moving to satellite radio.
· The only cool radio stations are online radio stations.
· Rock and metal has all but disappeared from the main stream.
· People have figured out that they can steal – I mean, "share" – music over the Internet, rather than pay for it.
· Online music sales have exploded: Apple iTunes, Yahoo Music, Wal-Mart, Napster, etc.
· Even your mom owns an iPod.

It's hard to imagine a band surviving all these changes, but Mindless Self Indulgence has and 5 years later they still kick ass. Frankenstein Girls was an even mix of hip-hop, metal and agro-industrial music styles. The album featured 30 songs and skits, clocking in at just over 51 minutes. The standout track on Frankenstein Girls was Bitches: a super-catchy rap-rock anthem that was too humorous to be considered offensive.

You'll Rebel to Anything features 10 short songs, lasting a mere 26.3 minutes. Since Frankenstein Girls the MSI style has grown away from hip-hop and towards aggressive rock and heavily processed metal. Lead singer and programmer Jimmy Urine (that's the type of name that makes baby Jesus cry) is as entertaining, vicious and hilarious as ever and I'm happy to report that Lyn-Z and Kitty are still totally hot. So hot that you'll probably find yourself searching for pictures of them on the Internet.

The theme of the CD artwork is video games. The cover features a cross composed of dozens of video game controllers and the inside artwork features the band engaged in a video game battle royale. MSI freaks and gamers will find themselves studying the artwork, trying to name all the game system controllers. The video game theme is woven into the sound of the album as well; Jimmy's keyboards screech, hit and dive like sounds straight from an 80's arcade. The band as a whole is as brutal and unrelenting as a game of Halo or Metal Gear Solid.

Rabid fans, and people who buy their music at Wal-Mart, will also find that the "clean" version of the album features entirely different artwork inside and out as well as an eleventh song titled Microphone Commander. I guess video game idolatry would piss off the average Wal-Mart shopper.

You'll Rebel starts with Shut Me Up, an anthem than explodes from your speakers like a grill-busting brass knuckle punch. Shut Me Up is an instant classic: meat-slicing guitars and rib-cracking beats frame some of the most screamable and comical lyrics I've heard in years:

The Bass, the Rock, the Mic, the Treble, I like my coffee black, just like my metal.

Shut Me Up slides into 1989, 2 minutes of rock fury and anger. I couldn't tell you want these lyrics mean, but they sure are fun to sing:

Back off you little shits. Gnawing at my fists. I see they breed you by the boatload.
Back off you little whores. Get 'em on all onboards. And let me beat you to the fucking punch bowl.

The title track You'll Rebel to Anything (As Long As Its Not Challenging) is a vicious attack on people who fake rebellion to get attention. Jimmy Urine has no time or tolerance for posers, and neither should you.

Stupid MF is a song that needed to be written and recorded. How can you not love a song whose chorus is: "You stupid motherfucker, you stupid motherfucker, you stupid motherfucker." From now until the end of time, whenever someone pisses you off, this song will pop into your head: "You stupid motherfucker, you stupid motherfucker, you stupid motherfuck!"

You'll Rebel closes with Bullshit, the final brutal track, featuring another chorus that you'll find yourself chanting at key moments in your life: "After this the rest is all bullshit, after this the rest is all bullshit, after this the rest is all bullshit, after this the rest is all bullshit!"

You'll Rebel is so good, and so much fun, that I can't stop listening to it. It's as addictive as nicotine, caffeine, booze and the Internet combined and I just can't get enough!

Contact Information:
Mindless Self Indulgence
E-Mail: billh@mindlessselfindulgence.com
Web: www.mindlessselfindulgence.com

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