Whenever I get access to a cable modem, I go crazy. Because I’m still living in the boondocks and subject to dial-up, I rarely chance to download more than a dozen songs a day…if I’m lucky and I leave the computer on all day. However, I have access to a lot more music. A lot more. So you can imagine that when I chance upon an internet connection that transfers up to 1 MB per second, I can do a whole lot of damage. The down side? Because I’m frantically clicking links and saving things, I usually have little knowledge of what I’m actually downloading until a day or so later, when I come back home and begin tagging and sifting through all of the stuff. It sounds like a lot of fun, and it most certainly is, but after a while, some of the songs start blending into each other. The Arcade Fire bleeds into The Still and No Trigger becomes Bad Religion with a new vocalist. Basically, this method truly separates the bad from the brilliant, the mediocre from the masterpieces. If a band or artist’s song shines out from the hundreds of other songs, it becomes special. It becomes loved. It can even become a potential runner-up for my Top Twenty Artist List.
That is exactly what happened when I first came across Mindless Self Indulgence. Shockingly enough, the first song I heard by them was a track off of their newly released Straight To Video: The Remixes single. It was simply titled “The Birthday Massacre (Dramaclub Remix).” I was intrigued. Hmm…well, I love The Birthday Massacre and this song seems to have something to do with that, let’s see what this is all about. I pressed play. Immediately, I was floored. The song opens with Atari sound bleeps, and eventually, the emergence of the synth composed splendor that The Birthday Massacre is famous for enters. And then the heavy, hard-hitting industrial beats enter and I almost fall off my chair. The song is absolutely, hands-down, life changing. That is the only way to describe it and probably the highest honor I can think of for describing a song.
It’s so simple in arrangement, yet complicated in its framework. The layers of dreamy, innocent synth melody, in addition to the dark, brooding vibe plus the guitars provide the exact juxtaposition that drew me into The Birthday Massacre in the first place. This song is so reminiscent of “The Dream,” it’s ridiculous. Not a bad thing at all.
At first I was confused by the song title until I did a bit of research and discovered that, no wonder it sounds exactly like The Birthday Massacre; it was MSI’s “Straight To Video” remixed by the band itself. Furthermore, when I saw what other bands remixed the song on the compilation (among them KMFDM, Velvet Acid Christ, and Assemblage 23), I was flabbergasted; where was I when this monumental, life altering album was released in March? Why had I not heard of this band before? Where could I get more?
Let me start off by saying that as I delved deeper in to the word of MSI, I realized why someone would be willing to hide this stupendous, experimental electronic punk techno metal industrial cornucopia of wonder away from the world; simply put, the lyrics. Pushing aside the lewd and sometimes downright disturbing stage antics put on by Jimmy Urine, the lyrics consist of a certain kind of smut you wouldn’t play outside of the private confines of your home or a very soundproof automobile. However, interspersed with what appears to be tongue in cheek parodies on the current state of hip hop and rap, the lyrics can also be thought provoking and if nothing else, senselessly amusing.
I think the whole concept of MSI is the fun they’re having with their sound and lyrics. There’s rarely any concrete structure to their music; most of the songs seem to have a flagrant disregard for solid composition and pattern. This makes for an interesting array of beats, rhythms, and resonances which, though random, are unique and innovative. The vocals pay homage to similar sentiments; from alto to fa;setto, from speed rap to melodic crooning, it’s truly an adventure with ups, downs, and everything in between.
Currently, though I skip between sampling the new songs I’ve gotten and tagging an endless stream of genres that mostly consist of patterned rock or pop or alternative or someone trying to sound like The Beatles (usually pegged ‘indie’), Mindless Self Indulgence is my current passion in heavy rotation. The feeling I got from hearing their songs are the same I got when The Birthday Massacre’s CD arrived in my mailbox back in October. They have moved into my Top Twenty List. Listen, swoon, applaud, and worship. Repeat.