Punknews.org
Star Fucking Hipsters - From the Dumpster to the Grave (Cover Artwork)

Star Fucking Hipsters

Star Fucking Hipsters: From the Dumpster to the GraveFrom the Dumpster to the Grave (2011)
Fat Wreckchords

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: JohnGentileJohnGentile
(others by this writer | submit your own)

When Punknews last interviewed Scott Sturgeon, lead vocalist and principal song writer of Star Fucking Hipsters, he stated that the reason for his increased rate of productivity was mainly due to living a healthier lifestyle. Well, on From the Dumpster to the Grave, it shows. Grave is SFH's sparkies.
iTunes StoreAmazon


When Punknews last interviewed Scott Sturgeon, lead vocalist and principal song writer of Star Fucking Hipsters, he stated that the reason for his increased rate of productivity was mainly due to living a healthier lifestyle. Well, on From the Dumpster to the Grave, it shows. Grave is SFH's sparkiest release to date, and sees Sturgeon returning to the frantic genre-jumping found on his earliest releases with his previous bands, Choking Victim and Leftover Crack.

SFH's last release, 2009's underrated Never Rest in Peace, featured the band taking on a somber tone, sludging through crusty ballads and vitriolic metal attacks. But since then, the group has seen several notable changes including the departure of co-vocalist Nico and the addition of Mikey Erg on drums, which has taken the group from the melancholy to the manic.

Most prominently, Grave is packed with ska tunes, albeit in Sturgeon's unique style, which slides some downtrend rumbling and buzzing crust guitar underneath the upstroke. While Never Rest in Peace's songs each seemed to be carefully crafted pieces, unique to themselves, Grave follows the Oingo Boingo strategy found on Choking Victim's No Gods/No Managers and Leftover Crack's Mediocre Generica, as the band flies through songs that are more wisps than weighty pieces, suddenly switching songs halfway through from third wave ska, to death metal stomping, to heart-on-the-sleeve balladeering. But, because the album is so frantic and moves so quickly from style to style, even when they are taking a depressing facade, they seem to be having a good time being sad as evidenced by the underlying energy that propels the morose.

It's often said that the drummer is the engine of the band and it's true here. Mikey Erg, formerly of the Ergs and 37 other bands, is one of the titans of pop-punk and his rapid, skipping pace injects the energy into these tunes that creates the interesting contrast of joyful tempo mixed with macabre lyrics.

While former co-vocalist Nico is no longer with the band, she appears on the album along with Sturgeon and new co-vocalist Kelsey. It's a shame that Nico has left, as this record is her finest hour. On the group's left turn cover of They Might Be Giants' "Ana Ng," Nico uses her pop vocals to twist through the song's off kilter delivery and make it seem that the weirdness of the song isn't that weird at all. However, her replacement, Kelsey, brings a new attribute to the album. while Nico's voice was very clean, Kelsey seems to have a lower range and is able to meet Sturgeon's voice of molasses and glass with her own crusty growl, also while maintaining some poppier elements.

Sturgeon follows his lyrical trajectory to date, attacking capitalism, admonishing big wigs and and confronting depression. But while these topics can become blah-blah-blah after a while, the serious messages are mixed into a series of tight, short, upbeat tunes. When Sturgeon shouts, "We'll never be a system slave!" it hits like an impassioned speech instead of a sophomore poli-sci whiner. When he laments "The more I reap the less I sow," it seems to be true introspection rather than pseudo-philosophy blabbering.

Notably, Coup emcee Boots Riley drops in to kick out some anti-capitalism battle raps. While Boots is in top form, bending words around plays on words around references you get 7 hours after the fact. Wisely, instead of forcing Boots' words over rock music, the band uses their instrumentation to create beats that are neither strictly hip-hop nor strictly punk, but ones that meet somewhere in the middle which complements Boots' delivery instead of fighting with it.

With SFH's first two releases, the band seemed to be getting heavier and more resigned to fate. But here, I hesitate to say they are refreshed to face the end, but what other way is there to describe willfully skanking into the eye of an atomic bomb blast?

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Dead To Me - Moscow Penny AnteCobra Skulls - AgitationsBanner Pilot - Heart Beats PacificFucked Up - David Comes to LifeThe Clash - London CallingBomb the Music Industry! - VacationOperation Ivy - Operation IvyFrank Turner - England Keep My BonesThe Menzingers - On the Impossible PastDescendents - Milo Goes To College

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
NoWayHome (October 13, 2011)

Thanks for taking a wonderful "They Might Be Giants" song that is tied to countless wonderful memories from my formative years and prison raping it. I'm going to need therapy after listening to that.

FUKHEAD666 (October 13, 2011)

so anyone know if theres ever gonna be a 3rd loc cd like fuck been long enough

vandalismo (October 13, 2011)

i like that there's more ska influence on this album.

Misanthropee (October 12, 2011)

The woefully incorrect association of the word "crust" with these shitty bands really needs to end.

davebrave4 (October 12, 2011)

Pretty excited to hear this. Boots Riley is the shit.

FUKHEAD666 (October 11, 2011)

you suck

justthetip (October 11, 2011)

I really like this album. I didn't really care for the other two SFH albums, although I am a fan of Choking Victim and Leftover Crack. I just think this album is overall higher quality and musically versatile. They do a really good job of mixing different styles while still giving it that punch.

theautumnpeople (October 11, 2011)

Aww Lars, jealous they asked Boots instead of you? You'll be good enough one of these days. Keep practicing & keep making the same, repetitive "this record is fucking horrible" posts.

agorist (October 11, 2011)

The first time didn't sound so good, after that I couldn't stop listening to it.

xbat-mitex (October 11, 2011)

Scotty Karate drummer of Voetsek/Deadfall & owner of Tankcrimes records played drums on a few songs on this record. It's not all Mikey Erg

mclz (October 11, 2011)

this record is fucking horrible

johngentile (October 11, 2011)

You know, you may be right. THIS is why we still need physical booklets people!

theautumnpeople (October 11, 2011)

I'm pretty sure Yula sings on Ana Ng. Nico's voice has never been that good. And I think I read an interview yesterday where Sturg said Yula sings Ana Ng.

Exclusive Streams

Sponsored


The Fest 13

Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Other Places to Go