Mindless Self Indulgence: If
Written By: Joe

One of the only things I've been fairly consistent with in regards to this website is reviewing all of Mindless Self Indulgence's studio albums (yes, except Tight, ok?) quite a while after they've been out, thus further ensuring my feelings about their music shall sink into obscurity, although my lack of any iota of credibility does that job sufficiently as is. Annnnnnnnnnyfuckinway, I'm going to assault consistency from the rear and review the new album BEFORE IT COMES OUT!!! DON'T IGNORE ME!!!!!

Anyway, it's not really really not out because you can listen to it same as I done did. You see, even though you can't get a nice, hard, physical copy of it for a few days more, the band was so kind as to put the whole flippin' thing up on their MySpace player, so feel free to not read the rest of this and just go listen to it for yourself.

So, what have I got to say about this album? Not that much. Other than that it's fucking ace. I have to explain myself: I love this band so much. I mean, it's not my favorite band, but they're way up there. I don't listen to them too frequently inbetween their releases (the last was a five-track dealy that was also absolutely glorious), but then something else comes out and I can't listen to anything else for a good month or so. I have the songs in my head throughout the day and I'm just happy about getting home to listen to them again. And this is what is happening with If as well.

I don't know if they've necessarily evolved or anything here. I don't know what they've done. They've just done more. It doesn't sound like any of the older stuff, but it's still very much in line with all of it. A fair amount of it actually is older material that they've finally gotten around to doing studio versions of and it all fits in great alongside the new stuff. I would say that it must be the best album they've done yet because, as I've mentioned, the songs keep popping into my head, but, unlike the previous releases, it's now bits and pieces of each and every track. Some of these have been put out as singles, but I genuinely think almost all of them could potentially fill the single role.

I'm not planning to go too far beyond my gushing, but I guess I can mention the negatives. "Due" (which was described on their MySpace as the worst track on the album) actually has a portion with some of my favorite vocals on the entire album, but the rest of the song is just not nearly as catchy. "Never Wanted to Dance" is the first track and the only negative thing I can say is that it sort of feels like it was deliberately made to be the "Shut Me Up" of this album, but it's not like it's not awesome so this is really not a sincere complaint. Also, the final track, "Mark David Chapman" was composed by way of frontman Jimmy Urine posting multiple choice questions on MySpace requesting that fans vote on how they wanted the song to be created. Although this is a hilariously ingenious idea in practice, people are dumb and voted that the song sound like it be from the worst album (although worst is not very bad when it comes to this band) and that the bridge be an insane departure (although it's still entirely on Jimmy that it it's such a huge departure). Anyway, it's still a good song, but, basically, the truly cool parts come and go too quickly.

The band was nice enough to come to Leeds just last night so I saw them live for the second time. The thing that remains true is that their fanbase appears to be mostly composed of people about five to seven years my juniors who are into metal and/or goth shit. I have to admit that it's still a bit embarassing to have to be placed alongside this fanbase, but I'd like to clarify that I'm no fan of any of the other bands that the average person who likes MSI seems to also like: e.g., My Chemical Romance (sorry, Lyn-z!), Korn, Linkin Park, or Slipknot. I'm also not very into the various genres this band borrows from as I don't really listen to anything I'd classify as metal, industrial, or electronica aside from this. I do tend to appreciate music that has its roots in punk, but MSI's songs are decidedly not all punk-based; they vary from track to track. What I'm trying to say is that my love for MSI is not much to do with my having a specific musical inclination; I just like things that sound cool and interesting. And this band consistently exceeds my expectations.

In my review of their previous album, I said that I felt it might be possible at this point to get your more open-minded friends to like MSI now. I don't know how true I think that is anymore. I think you either enjoy this or you don't. It's still pretty offensive, it's still abrasive, it still jumps between entirely different styles and tempos from moment to moment, and Jimmy Urine still goes from screaming his head off to busting out his always impressive falsetto without warning. The thing is, if this isn't particularly a problem for you, you'll find that MSI is strangely melodic a lot of the time. There really is stuff in here ("Prescription" is a good example) that I would dare to say sounds downright pretty and, considering all the different parts and mixing of sounds and instruments (although I guess most are probably synth-based) most of the songs have, some of it strikes me as borderline symphonic. You heard (read) me!

I listen to a lot of weird shit and, even though this band is actually pretty damn huge now, it's probably still the main one that makes people question what is wrong with me that this is one of my favorite bands and, I have to admit, the fact that the people who seem to share my love for them seem to be a lot younger and like a lot of crap aside from this makes me wonder about the inner-workings of my head a little bit too. But, whatever, I don't care how damn old Jimmy Urine is getting; I hope the guy keeps churning music out because I'm convinced I'll enjoy all of it.

This shit is brilliant. That is all.


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