I Set My Friends on Fire tests one's tolerance on You Can’t Spell Slaughter Without Laughter

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      I Set My Friends on Fire
      You Can’t Spell Slaughter Without Laughter (Epitaph)

      You Can’t Spell Slaughter Without Laughter seems designed to test the listener’s tolerance for a number of things. These include, but are not limited to: throat-shredding screamo vocals and equally larynx-lacerating death-metal growling, skinny rocker boys doing crunk, gratuitous application of Auto-Tune, and ironic song titles. Individually, each of those factors is highly irritating; taken together, they’re also highly irritating. Against all odds, though, You Can’t Spell Slaughter Without Laughter is hilariously—even brilliantly—listenable.

      As easy as it would be to dismiss I Set My Friends on Fire’s debut as an elaborate joke on the part of Matt Mihana (vocals and lyrics) and Nabil Moo (everything else), the songs are too well-crafted for that. Well, okay, the duo’s howling version of Soulja Boy Tell ’Em’s “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” is undoubtedly a piss-take, and song titles like “Beauty Is in the Eyes of the Beerholder” and “Reese’s Pieces, I Don’t Know Who John Cleese Is?” speak to a certain less-than-mature sense of humour. But dig deeper and there is much to be taken seriously here.

      “Things That Rhyme With Orange” starts off with some techno doodling before kicking into a full-bore pop-punk number boasting a soaring chorus and lyrics exploring the unattainable dream of universal acclaim: “It has to be a unanimous determination/Because one opinion would be a pointless appreciation.”

      What “Ravenous, Ravenous Rhinos” is about is anyone’s guess, but the song’s searing metalcore attack hits like a hammer to the skull—well, up until the 1:39 mark, that is, when it makes a jarring left turn into Auto-Tuned synthpop for a few bars, before closing out with a brief deathcore coda.

      Elsewhere, “HXC 2-Step”, which is set to a Dirty South beat that the Ying Yang Twins wouldn’t turn down, finds Mihana and Moo bellowing dance steps (and crude sexual suggestions) like hypercaffeinated drill sergeants.

      And “But the Nuns Are Watching”¦” is a gut-shot salvo devastating enough to appease anyone who ever wished to hear the one-arm-scissor assault of At the Drive-In mashed up with extreme metal and the electro earnestness of the Postal Service.

      Admittedly, on paper that looks like the recipe for a migraine-inducing mess. And that’s exactly what You Can’t Spell Slaughter Without Laughter will sound like to a lot of people. But those willing to embrace a noisy, ambitious, self-indulgent, and downright weird record will find a lot to love.

      Download This: “Ravenous, Ravenous Rhinos”




      Aug 8, 2009 at 1:04pm

      this is the only site that i've found that hasn't given this record a >.5 rating.
      it deserves a lot more. for anyone who is a fan of metal. hardocre and even techno, it's a treasure.
      it combines all of the best genres into one.


      Oct 13, 2009 at 2:49pm

      this band pwns, this is the highest rating anyone has given that ive seen, the other ones were >.5 or 3 stars. I love how this band is almost every style of music! Their metal, screamo, rock, punk, pop, techno, electronica, rap, and hiphop!


      Dec 26, 2009 at 8:44am

      This band has single handedly wiped all others off my playlist and replaced my left foot with a right. Left foot being traditional metalcore and right being their own brand of listenable scremo. Just when you stop paying attention to one of their songs for lack of understanding they bring it back to a fun coherent verse that is bolth clever and hilarious. Every song is gold. They're not a picture perfect portrait but they are working on it.


      Oct 25, 2011 at 10:39am

      haha jeremy the song reference ;)
      honestly i dont understand why every stupid critic bashes on them, they're brilliant blends and hooking lyrics. it just makes it amazing and easy to listen to if you have the brains.


      Dec 15, 2011 at 8:28am

      This is the only site that doesn't bash on the album and band itself.