A month ago Victory Records signed a band known as Design the Skyline. The signing had many people (including me) calling them one of the worst signed bands that music had known. Amidst all the insults and jokes, people forgot about a certain band who had signed to Epitaph Records a couple of years ago, who quite honestly deserves the “worst signed act” title just as much as Design the Skyline. I am talking about Miami, Florida’s I Set My Friends On Fire. Getting signed off the popularity from a cover of Soulja Boy’s smash hit “Crank That” the duo was quick to release their debut album You Can’t Spell Slaughter Without Laughter which seemed to be universally panned by listeners, and in good reason, seeing as it was one of the worst albums of 2008. The following 2 years saw the band’s popularity quickly diminish, and it finally seemed like we had gotten rid of this band, until it was announced that they would be releasing a second album titled Astral Rejection, which is once again one of the worst albums of the year.
Nabil Moo, one half of the equation that was You Can’t Spell Slaughter Without Laughter, may have recently departed from the band, but don’t worry as it doesn’t affect the band in any way. Yep, I Set My Friends On Fire is just as bad as before. Beginning with “It Comes Naturally,” which is just as vocally obnoxious as anything off their debut, Matt Mehana’s screams are just as raspy and unlistenable, and his singing is just as computerized, so in short the song is a perfect reminder of just how atrocious this band is. One of the things that bothers me most about this album is just how insulting it is. After hearing Mehana talk about cumming, dinosaurs, and STDs, I began to ponder whether this was all a sick joke and an insult to the intelligence level of their fan base, or if Mehana really finds this funny and/or smart; either way it should go without praise.
Continuing with the rest of the album I realized there were few things that I could get out of listening to the tracks on it. For example, in “Infinite Suck” the only thing that came to me was that if Mehana were to take the Sonny Moore route and ditch I Set My Friends On Fire and become an electronic musician then he would be able to be a somewhat interesting house DJ. I also came to realize that Mehana isn’t a very funny person, it seems to me like he has the humor of a 6th grader, and I got this simply by looking at the song titles. I mean seriously, does anybody look at the back of this CD, read “CACAGFUEGO, Nuestra Senora De La Concepcion” and laugh? Does anyone even think that’s clever?
Apart from being just overall deplorable, it’s clear that I Set My Friends On Fire does not know what kind of deplorable they want to be. Most songs seem to suggest that they want to be as incoherent and obnoxiously loud as possible, while songs like “Developer, the Horn” and “Kief Catcher” show that maybe the band wants to be a Breathe Carolina clone.
Maybe I just don’t get it. Maybe Matt Mehana is actually a genius, I mean, how else would a band this bad ever attain any sort of success? I’m starting to think that Mehana is laughing in his home, he’s laughing because some kid actually spent $10 on this, and because an idiot like me would actually take the time to listen to it and write 600+ words about it. Or maybe I’m just over-analyzing it and he’s actually as dumb as his music suggests. Either way it doesn’t take away from the fact that Astral Rejection should be avoided.