Mindless Self Indulgence
If


3.0
good

Review

by Jared Floryan USER (12 Reviews)
May 9th, 2015 | 12 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This is my vindication with a little decoration.

Hailing from the so-called crackerjack depths of New York City, the quartet known as Mindless Self Indulgence were always an amusing bunch of musicians. Highly recognizable for their audacious, vulgar stage performances, the quirky method to what's most likely electronic rock, and a surprising amount of wisdom beneath MSI's sickening brand of humor, they've gained a devout army of fans over the years. It's also telling that the band has had a knack for churning out ear worm after ear worm; trust me, you would probably kick the bucket by now the moment you have the gall to elude the act's cover of Method Man's “Bring the Pain”. One would also be lying to themselves if they didn't at least have some begrudging respect for lead vocalist James “Jimmy Urine” Euringer's charisma, as well as the range he's got. This whimsical fool during Mindless Self Indulgence's weird career has flirted with rapping, falsetto, and the occasional screams every once in a blue moon, so by coupling Urine with the gang's enticing musical style, you have an entourage that was relatively distinctive back in their heyday.

After Mindless had their special way with a trilogy of studio albums, they later released a fourth full-length recording under independent label The End Records. Entitled If, it is the group's second effort with bassist Lyn-Z, who some of you might know as former My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way's spouse, but I digress. Having said that, she previously contributed to You'll Rebel to Anything, which was – to put it lightly - a record that allowed this team of misfits to gain newly discovered mainstream exposure. At the same time, they also managing to combine the ADHD-inspired atmosphere of the band's first two outings with a noticeably more accessible tone to boot, and this approach pretty much became solidified for If. Boasting 15 tracks on the standard edition of the LP, If contains what is arguably the most cohesive material in Mindless Self Indulgence's discography, as quite a number of the songs have this energized dance vibe going for them; heck, “Bomb This Track” is rather fitting for unabashed night clubs, complete with turntable scratching during the tune's bridge.

Fortunately for diehard MSI fanatics, the album is still Mindless in name and (by extension) attitude. Jimmy's vocals throughout this adrenaline in CD quality form are still as distinguishable as ever, though he's comparably controlled in terms of delivery at this point. Then again, the man was already in his late 30s, so it's understandable if he had to restrain himself. His aptitude for writing satisfactory hooks remains intact, if album opener “Never Wanted to Dance” and “Lights Out” are of any indication, and yet simultaneously speaking, his voice isn't exciting to hear. The performance that these guys' leader brings in is, although far from terrible, extraordinarily predictable. Listeners can go ahead and debate that because the other members of MSI are taking a backseat to programming tactics instead, Urine's one-liners are phoned in. His wordplay barely adds anything to the more cringeworthy ditties on here like “Prescription,” “Issues,” and the especially painful “Get It Up”, in which the latter has a spoken word section that not only equates to padding – it's merely unfunny, for lack of a better word.

Now in spite of the spotlight shining down on Jimmy a bit too much and some questionable implementations (*cough* *cough* the cheer that introduces “Revenge”), Mindless' fourth collection still has its merits. The production handled by the triad of James Galus, guitarist Steve, Righ?, and of course Jimmy Urine himself accentuates the danceable atmosphere of If pretty darn well. Those electro-industrial sounds almost make this basically above-average album on par with its predecessor. Speaking of sound, while there isn't too much variety to be found unlike, say, Frankenstein Girls Will Seem Strangely Sexy, these industrial jungle pussy punks still aren't terrified to experiment whenever they can. “Mastermind” is easily a highlight off the release, possessing a decidedly sinister air about the song that comes equipped with the whispery voice Urine utilizes through a majority of it. Another standout from If would be the closer “Mark David Chapman”, a track centered on John Lennon's murderer who dispatches of copycat musical ensembles in order to stick out amongst the crowd.

Care to know the bottom line? By and large, If is an enjoyable and very good library of rousing pieces, being able to stand on its own perfectly fine. It's nowhere near as insane or jaw-dropping as Mindless Self Indulgence's earlier albums nor does it carry a similar quantum of replay value, but beyond that, this is an acceptable addition to MSI's discography. Anyone unfamiliar with them can start out here for the accessibility value if you aren't sold on the band's arsenal of quirkiness, though this reviewer suggests going chronologically or checking out just Tight and Frankenstein Girls....



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Angelboros
May 9th 2015


807 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

My first review in a long while. Burnout's gotta be avoided sooner or later, man.



Feedback is very appreciated.

Mort.
May 9th 2015


7071 Comments


Posd, good review

Digging: Spider Kitten - Behold Mountain...

Supercoolguy64
May 9th 2015


5860 Comments


cool rev, pos

Digging: Johnny Smith - Johnny Smith

Jasdevi087
May 9th 2015


1820 Comments


An Angelboros review? No way.

Pos

Digging: Plastic Tree - Chandelier

VaxXi
May 9th 2015


1578 Comments


All the cool bands are ruined by scene kids.

Supercoolguy64
May 9th 2015


5860 Comments


didnt the guy who made invader zim directed a music vid by these guys?

Angelboros
May 9th 2015


807 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Jhonen Vasquez, IIRC, directed the music video for Shut Me Up.

VaxXi
May 9th 2015


1578 Comments


Yeah, he did direct Shut Me Up.

Arcade
Contributing Reviewer
May 10th 2015


5792 Comments


horrible band.

Digging: Travis Scott - Rodeo

Acanthus
May 10th 2015


9801 Comments


Only ever enjoyed one full album by these guys, a couple songs here are fun though.

Digging: Emika - DVA

Angelboros
May 10th 2015


807 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

My older brother once had a deluxe edition copy of this; the artwork for that version was done by Jhonen as well. Just out of curiosity, I used to borrow it from time to time and at one point brought the booklet to school with me. Shit, those were the days.





CaptainAaarrrggghhh
July 3rd 2015


239 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review. Love that record. Yeah, the sappy choruses get old over time and the overall feel is safer than the first two LPs (actually even safer than "You'll Rebel") but some melodies are just to damn good to be sour about it. And the lyrical matter is as always (balls) deep. I re-spin it every now and then just for the sing-along factor. And the punches.



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