Self Defense Family - You Are Beneath Me (Cover Artwork)

Self Defense Family

Self Defense Family: You Are Beneath MeYou Are Beneath Me (2010)
Deathwish Inc.

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

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

End of a Year is a special band. The music is of a really smart post-hardcore/post-indie D.C. vibe that is interesting but never off-putting. The vocalist, Patrick Kindlon, is a fucking genius who writes amazing diatribes about whatever he wants. He's often poignant, capable of being strong and vuln.

End of a Year is a special band. The music is of a really smart post-hardcore/post-indie D.C. vibe that is interesting but never off-putting. The vocalist, Patrick Kindlon, is a fucking genius who writes amazing diatribes about whatever he wants. He's often poignant, capable of being strong and vulnerable at the same time, and is one of those rare artists that can actually put a finger on modern life while living it. Really, EOAY is one of the greatest things going in "punk."

With all that, there is one thing about this band that I have a hard time with, and unfortunately that is Kindlon's voice. He doesn't sing or scream, but talks and yelps his way through his lyrics--an approach I don't have a problem with, but it's simply the sound of his voice that is so unsatisfying. He sounds something like Guy Picciotto (of Fugazi, you dingus) after smoking a carton of cigarettes or a little bit like the marine commander in the Generation Kill miniseries on HBO (see it) that had throat cancer. And in reality, I feel guilty about even pointing this out. It's like meeting the coolest girl ever--she's got an amazing personality, no crazy issues, a great body, and cool style, but her face is repulsive. You know should see past it, but you have to be able to look at your partner to really commit, so it's hard to ignore. EOAY is that girl--it's got everything that should matter and the only flaw is superficial, but it's there. Perhaps it just shows how shallow I can be as a listener. This band is so good, and this guy is an amazing writer, but his voice is rough to listen to for an extended period.

Getting back to why this band is so great, on this, the band's long-awaited second full-length, they stick more to mid-tempo and laid-back post hardcore fare. It's pretty enjoyable, sometimes reminding me of later Fugazi and occasionally evoking the vibe in Dismemberment Plan's amazing final record, Change. The guitars are smooth and laid back, but the groove is upbeat, making for a contemplative overall feel that is emotionally satsifying.

Lyrically, just about everything Kindlon writes is interesting and this record is worth investigating just for the lyrics. Check out the intro track, "Composite Character," where Kindlon talks his way through explaining how to listen to the record: "To best understand the material, work part-time, make less than $20,000 a year, grow your hair out, live under constant threat of eviction...have a pregnancy scare, have highly personal and easily misunderstood goals..." He tries to explain in "Bo Diaz:" "So you wonder what men want? Well, here's a heads-up: Everything and then some. And more. And more." In closer "Philip Jose Farmer," he asks, "Is there any good idea lame assholes won't steal?"

There are so few people or bands that truly have something to say, so when one comes along, it is in your best interests to pay attention. If you can get used to the voice overtop, there is some highly intelligent and affective stuff going on here.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
stevediwhy (August 31, 2010)

their best material to date.

MonsterLobster (July 23, 2010)

I like a band whose website redirects to "the Facebook of Fucking."

FudgePakistan (July 19, 2010)

love this record. saw them with have heart in st louis and the crowd was not at all stoked to see them.

RRK (July 18, 2010)

The lyrics you mention from the song "Bo Diaz" are actually from the next track, "Eddie Antar."

Great ass album.

sentimental_man (July 18, 2010)

I really like everything about this whole album, but especially the singer. He's completely honest. And I don't know about you guys, but honesty wins me over in a heartbeat.

lasttwosharks (July 18, 2010)

Played a show with these guys a couple months back. The singer wore the shortest shorts I've ever seen... It was disturbing/distracting, but the music was fucking awesome.

R3vengeTherapy (July 17, 2010)

Good review, this record is fantastic. I heard End of a Year back when they put out Sincerely, but I really wasn't into it, and I've heard some of their releases since then, but for some reason this one finally clicked. I need to go back to the older material and give it another shot, but this record just does it for me. The music is so good, and while the vocals could be off-putting to some, I think they add another unique dimension.

xcarlupanddiex (July 17, 2010)

i want a "i like" button in the reviews , too .


runneruprecords (July 17, 2010)

this band has yet to put out anything that is less than stellar. this LP is amazing.

bearchuck (July 16, 2010)

Just falling in line with nearly everyone else here ... this record is pretty great. After only a few spins, I'm going to predict that this will land fairly high on my best of 2010 list. I haven't listened enough to actually figure out why I love it so much - it's just got a great, intangible quality to it.

Also, these guys sort of remind me of a slightly less aggressive / more emo Dear Tonight. Can't exactly figure that one out either, but maybe it's the vocals.

cherrycolarain (July 16, 2010)

I'm with Dante on this one. When I first checked out Sincerely I wasn't impressed but there's something about this album that just opened up their entire catalog to me. Though I still think this is their strongest material, maybe aside from "Dan Cooper" off the split with Shook Ones.

onegirlarmy (July 16, 2010)

Patrick Kindlon is just a bizarre/interesting human being in general. I mean that in a good way. But, most geniuses are eccentric in some way, so I guess it makes sense.

Record fucking rules. When he isn't trying to shock people, he can be the funniest fucking person in the world too. Both twitter and his formspring/advice column: now you want to talk rants/comedy/amazingness - http://www.formspring.me/endtimes

Chaos_is_Goose (July 16, 2010)

I love his vocals. I use to hate the style too, but for some reason, this new record really changed my mind. I can listen to all their other releases now at 100% enjoyment.

Dante3000 (July 16, 2010)

Really love this record. Surprised because I hadn't really been into these guys too much before and they have a ton of different little releases. I feel there's some Hold Steady in the vocals, not just the delivery but also the album seems very thematic. Maybe I'm just being hacky. Still a great album.

quickattack (July 16, 2010)

Definitely a pretty cool record.

Bryne (July 16, 2010)

Good review. The guy's voice does take some getting used to, but the lyrics are so great in parts that it's worth the work.

Also, Kindlon is one of my favorite people on twitter. http://twitter.com/endofayear

noah (July 16, 2010)

I love this record, here's a cool live studio thing they did recently with download of the MP3's:


MonkDave (July 16, 2010)

Love this band and the vocals are great. You want to hear something really eerie? Listen to Panthro UK United 13 or Black Cougar Shock Unit. This End of a Year dude sounds almost identical to Alex Ulloa at times.

saladfingers (July 16, 2010)

Good review. Even better record.

And his vocals are what make this band so special. I have no problem with his voice at all.

Blackjaw_ (July 16, 2010)

Also, damn good review; very well written. The second paragraph is exactly how I feel, but you worded it far better than I ever could.

Blackjaw_ (July 16, 2010)

There's something almost... eerie... about this band. They're very passionate, very real... I really respect them. Don't really listen to 'em much though.

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