Review Summary: Remember those two trendy kids from Florida that did the post-hardcore version of Crank That? Well they have a full length album out now, and to be perfectly honest, its pretty good.
If you have owned a computer at any point in the past year or so, then you have undoubtedly come across ISMFOF at some point. Maybe you were aware of it, maybe you weren't, but chances are you have, at one time or another, heard the so called "screamo" version of the ever so popular Crank That, originally penned by Soulja Boy. If you haven't, then you are more than likely a very unkempt man living in a cave somewhere in the Tennessee foothills that is completely oblivious to modern civilization, in which case you probably wouldn't even be reading this review in the first place, but I digress. Since the point in time that Crank That was unleashed on the web, ISMFOF has been signed to Epitaph records, and they now have a full length album, and honestly, its not half bad.
The album itself is a hodgepodge of various instruments and genres, running the gambit from metalcore, to hip-hop, to post-hardcore, to pop-punk, to synth pop, and just about everywhere in between. In fact, hodgepodge is probably the best word to describe this album, as pretty much every aspect of it is all over the place. The vocal deliveries range from high pitched screeches and autotuned clean vocals (a la T-Pain), to obscenely overdubed harmony tracks intermingled with gang shouts, throaty screaming, and even a few pseudo-death growls. As you may have guessed, the instruments used here are just as varied as everything else. The only "real" instruments found in the soundscape are the guitars and bass, with the rest consisting of a veritable smorgasbord of programmed instruments that include numerous synths, drum kits, and various quirky noises.
The mish-mosh of all the aforementioned elements makes for an album that is an interesting listen to say the least. To take this album seriously, as some will undoubtedly do, really just defeats the whole purpose the album set out to accomplish. The album is really just meant to be as obscenely ridiculous as it possibly can, and in that regard it is quite successful. From the synth laden breakdowns at the end of But The Nuns Are Watching, to the overtly poppy intro to Things That Rhyme With Orange, to the odd synth pop section in Ravenous, Ravenous Rhinos (Hungry, Hungry Hippos anyone?), the album covers about as much stylistic ground as James Brown in a pickup truck with a blown out tire (for those unfamiliar with the multi-state police chase in which the hardest working man in show business was, as he claimed, high on God, just Google it). The lyrics are equally as ridiculous as everything else, with vocalist Matt Mihana belting out lines like "Call me old fashion, but I think trains kick a**/I don't need hot wheels to get to class" and "Don't get the octopus upset, it may eat itself!".
There will undoubtedly be legions of people to take up the cry of "this **** is ridiculous" and the only proper response to that statement is...well..."duh." Its not meant to be an emotional roller coaster, nor is it meant to be a musical breakthrough. Its simply meant to be a overly ridiculous album that is, in the end, a fairly fun and interesting listen. As far as I'm concerned, I Set My Friends On Fire will probably never be an iconic group, nor will they end up changing that face of music itself, but they will more than likely be remembered for quite some time, at least for Crank That.
Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beerholder
Things That Rhyme With Orange
Ravenous, Ravenous Rhinos
Reese's Pieces, I Don't Know Who John Cleese Is?