This Is My Fist - I Don't Want to Startle You But They Are Going to Kill Most of Us [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)

This Is My Fist

I Don't Want to Startle You But They Are Going to Kill Most of Us [7-inch] (2002)

Left Off the Dial

The best 7" ever made? Maybe. Either way, this is hands down my favorite 7".

The artwork is ideal for a pop-punk release; the layout contains handwritten lyrics, lots of pictures, cute images and a large tank stretching across the front and back of sturdy, brown cardstock. These days This Is My Fist! operates out of Chicago, Ill., where they have a new lineup consisting of vocalist Annie Saunders and the guys from Love Songs. The Chicago version of the band has released a full-length on No Idea and a handful of splits with bands like the Marked Men and Fifth Hour Hero. Though This Is My Fist! aren't reinventing the wheel with their sound, I've had a hell of a time coming up with a band to compare them to; perhaps Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash-era Replacements or Hüsker Dü would suffice.

The production on I Don't Want to Startle You But They Are Going to Kill Us has a warm tone that straddles an ideal line of not being too slick while still sounding great. The drums are fast and steady and the riffs are creative and rhythmic. Everything on this four-song 7" is thought out and carefully crafted without being overly technical. The lyrics are at times angry, sometimes sad, and when they are at their best they are defiant. Each song on this record flows seamlessly into the next, avoiding any wasted time while Annie's melodic yet gruff vocals convey consistently audible lyrics. When she sings, "I'm not afraid of monsters in my bed anymore," which brings the A side to an end, it has that tingle-in-the-spine effect that you get from excellent musical moments.

Excellent musical moments are hard to pick out on a short and efficient record like this where everything is perfect. There are four songs on a 45 rpm record and nothing is less than great. It was released quite a while ago and is now out of print, which means that this review could just be a mean reminder of what you can't obtain. I recommend tracking this record down if you can, and while you're waiting "keep your pants on mister 'cause you're born and you work and you work and you die..."