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I Set My Friends on Fire ‘Astral Rejection’ (Album Review)

Monday, 20 June 2011 Written by Rob Sleigh
I Set My Friends on Fire ‘Astral Rejection’ (Album Review)

Upon hearing the name of these Floridian experimental hardcore rockers for the first time, you’ve probably already been given a vague idea of what I Set My Friends on Fire have to offer in their music. Look back to their 2008 debut ‘You Can’t Spell Slaughter Without Laughter’, which features song titles such as ‘Beauty is in the Eye of the Beer Holder’ and ‘Reese’s Pieces, I Don’t Know Who John Cleese Is’, and this early impression is likely to be reinforced somewhat. Much like their bizarrely-named songs and their even more bizarre band name, I Set My Friends on Fire’s modestly-titled second album ‘Astral Rejection’ displays the kind of music that would make most people look on in a mixed state of horror, puzzlement and a certain level of perverse curiosity. It blends a number of diverse musical genres that are clearly close to the group’s collective heart, despite being as compatible as cheese and chalk. Pop, R&B and dubstep are among the various influences that I Set My Friends on Fire have chosen to throw into their experimental melting pot of noise. However, anyone drawn in by this brief introduction should beware as you may be in for a shock.

ImageAfter an eerie intro, album opener ‘It Comes Naturally’ starts ‘Astral Rejection’ as it means to go on – with complete and utter insane brutality. Frontman Matt Mehana screams his way through the first verse like a lunatic before switching to a melodic pop-punk vocal style at the chorus. At this point on the album, I Set My Friends on Fire may remind of fellow Floridian metalcore band A Day To Remember, although the synth-pop technique that they frequently employ occasionally reeks with the scent of Owl City. For the track ‘Excite Dyke’, the band have created an electronic song that blends strangely well with Mehana’s gibbered screams and death growls. However, there are moments on ‘Astral Rejection’ where the contrasts between the various vocal styles are a bit too vast and you can’t help but wonder who it is going to appeal to. The combination of pop music and hardcore was always a bit of a hard sell to begin with, but I Set My Friends on Fire seem to have taken this to the next level.

There are other times on the album where the use of certain genres is brave to the point of being downright deceitful. Anyone that has previously come across recent single ‘Life Hertz’, for example, may well be utterly unprepared for the ferocity of the tracks that make up the rest of the album. On other occasions, the styles seem to alter so frequently that it often proves difficult to keep track of where one song ends and another begins. However, experimentalism has always gone hand-in-hand with heavy music and ‘Astral Rejection’ is another good example of this curious compatibility. Tread carefully if this is your first encounter with I Set My Friends on Fire, but try and hang in there – you might just be glad that you did.

Stereoboard Rating: 6/10

‘Astral Rejection’ is due for release on 20th June.
I Set My Friends on Fire are on tour with A Skylit Drive in September.



I Set My Friends On Fire UK & Ireland Tour Dates are as follows:

Mon September 26th 2011 - O2 Academy2 Newcastle, Newcastle
Tue September 27th 2011 - The Cockpit, Leeds

Click Here to Compare & Buy I Set My Friends On Fire Tickets at Stereoboard.com.




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Related News

I Set My Friends On Fire Announce Second Album, UK Tour Dates & Tickets
Sat 30 Apr 2011
Miami experimental rockers I Set My Friends On Fire have announced details of their second album ‘Astral Rejection’, which is due to be released on 20th June through Epitaph Records. The album follows their 2008 debut ‘You Can’t Spell Slaughter Without Laughter’. I Set My Friends On Fire are to tour the UK in September with Californian post-hardcore band A Skylit Drive. See below for dates.
 
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