Release DetailsLABEL Crucial Blast
RELEASED ON 11/8/2005
So I Had To Shoot Him
Alpha Males and Popular Girls
posted on 2/2006 By:
After ten years of splits, EP’s and compilation tracks, New Jersey’s SoIHadToShootHim has finally sent forth a proper full length album, in the form of Alpha Males and Popular Girls. Here, my friends, is an album guaranteed to elicit a reaction. SoIHadToShootHim are like genre bulimics, gorging on every available flavor of underground punk, pop, indie, and grindcore, and erupting it back out in violent bursts of damaged bizarreness. Probably the greatest service I can do for the readers (and I’m here to serve, dear reader) is to make it clear that it’s highly doubtful that SIHTSH is going to appeal to the metal part of your musical palate. Sure the band borrows from grindcore, but that label itself is as honest as calling Rage Against the Machine a hip-hop band or assuming that country fans will embrace Uncle Tupelo. What the fuck is an Uncle Tupelo, you ask? Um, this might not be the album for you. I’m not sure it’s the album for me either, for that matter. But Alpha Males and Popular Girls does have some appeal, if for no other reason than its fascinating wood chipper take on genre melding.
It would be easier to dismiss Alpha Males and Popular Girls were it not for the manic vocal histrionics of frontwoman Libby Schaub, who shimmies, barks and wails, weaving comfortably between sugary melody, feminist sneer and passionate howls in a manner that draws comparisons from everyone from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, PJ Harvey, and Melt Banana, to Siouxie and the Banshees, Daisy Chainsaw, Chrissie Hynde and Blondie. Schaub’s approach is consistent with the band’s spastic contortions, while giving the material personality and hook. Speaking of hook, you gotta give an appreciative nod to song titles like “Cadavertising” and “King Diamond in the Rough”. But at the end of the day, the problem I have with Alpha Males and Popular Girls is that while any given song is an engaging curiosity with at least snatches of infectious melody, in its entirety the album is akin to chewing on tinfoil. Whether the album works for you depends largely on where you draw the line between intrigue and entertainment. SoIHadToShootHim’s art house genre melting sounds like a carefully constructed affront to convention, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they took some delight on most not being in on the joke, but by the end of the album, to quote one of the few artists that SIHTSH hasn’t mined, that joke isn’t funny anymore.
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