I’m going to try get this out of the way first because I tend to drone on and on about some esoteric and self indulgent bullshit before getting to what the record/band actually sounds like. Which is usually why people read reviews in the first place. Not that I give a shit, but I thought I’d shake it up a bit. If you have depression and anxiety issues, and not in the “aren’t I so deep and introspective” way but in the “There are several times a year, if not every day, that I truly wish I was dead” way, Ryan Young has written a prodigious amount of lyrics dealing with the subject that you may appreciate. I have a fair amount of said issues myself and I usually don’t like to surround myself with music that deals with them. Being depressed usually isn’t helped by listening to downer music. I can relate but I also want to see a light somewhere or at the very least get up and get moving. I can’t think of another band that combines lyrics as truly emotionally dark with music that actually makes you want to get up and jump up and down. All this without eyeliner or a stitch of clothing from Dogpile. It’s comforting to know that there are other people out there dealing with the same shit but still raising themselves up to get through it and try to have a good time when they can. This record is a compilation of most of their songs from their beginning to somewhere in early 2007 or late 2006 and you know what? I’m glad I didn’t put this record out. It would annoy the piss out of me to put out a compilation that is supposed to be all-inclusive of their singles and what not up until early this year and have it not be all-inclusive! They’ve left out their first 7” from what I have dubbed “The Murder City Years” called Fine Tuning the Bender. Which is a mystery to me because it’s not bad or all that different from the To Hell With This... 7”, which they did include. “What the fuck?!,” I say. At any rate, this thing is laid out in pretty much reverse release order, as far as I can tell. Starting with their split with J Church and working backwards. The material goes essentially from great to not too shabby at all. There’s also a previously unreleased song called “Sadie” from a few years back that I really didn’t like at first but actually grew on me. Believe it or not, but these assholes already have enough material for another compilation like this (and, as of this writing, it isn’t even the end of 2007) and they’ve got a brand new full length coming out next year on No Idea. Hardest working bum outs in the industry!… and probably one of the best U.S. bands of the last few years.
–Steve Stephenson (No Idea)