I Hate Myself - Ten Songs (Cover Artwork)

I Hate Myself

Ten Songs (1997)

No Idea


Hey you. Remember when when emo didn't suck? No? Well I Hate Myself do/did, and they show it here with "Ten Songs". The CD actually has eleven songs, but who's counting? I notice that I Hate Myself goes highly unsung, even though they were as talented as other Gainseville bands to go on to bigger things. They are at least as important as Hot Water Music or Less Than Jake.

1. This Isn't The Tenka-ichi-Budokai
A signature IHM song, and a great introduction to the group. Haunting guitar riffs cut through the silence for the first 40 seconds before all the instruments come in, singer a-screamin' lyrics of loss.

2. Urban Barbie
A joke soothing song with lines like "you've got your roots in the streets/stretch almost four weeks deep", "rock the spot with your g's" and "your blowing up the spot/you've shot up my heart". A good listen, but I'll skip it if I'm pressed for time.

3. Polar Bear Summer
Probably the least memorable song on the album, it doesn't really tickle my fancy. Starts off with a bang and sort of loses said bang.

4. ...And Keep Reaching For Those Stars
This is an awesome song. The character written in the lyrics has dreams of a better life ("I want to see things I'll never get to see"), but is grounded by reality ("dead end job, a slob and fucked up all the time") and commits suicide. Musically, its beautifully crafted with light, bouncy riffs before it launches into the full out screaming finale.

5. Caught In A Flood With The Captain of the Cheerleading Squad
Tortured, weary vocal performance kick off the song, and some of the best lyrical imagery thus far show up here, and the haunting guitar parts continue. Even the instruments, come the song's end, seem to be letting off an air of the aforementioned torture-ed-ness.

6. Kind of A Long Way Down
Guitar and vocals only. The subtle conviction makes this a keeper. The vocals and guitar are filled with a kind of hopefullness and longing.

7. Not Waving But Drowning
An almost anthemic quality about this track, a tempo change thrown in.

8. Destroy All Monsters
There are only four lines in the whole song, but boy are they memorable. The lyrics are very surreal-feeling, even for IHM. This is probably the most "punk" song on "Ten Songs".

9. To A Father At War
This seems to be everyone's favorite song, which is understandable. It opens with a bass riff that starts to get you in the crying mood for this song. Beautiful, sparse guitar parts litter the verse before breaking into a more structured bridge. After two verses, the band goes all out, pulling some depressing, wild riffs out, finishing off yelling "Retreat and come back home." This song is only on the CD, which is why I recommend the CD.

10. Conversation With Dr. Suessicide
This is IMH's longest song, written as a conversation between two people. Some of their best screams can be found on this track, especially towards the end.

11. Secret Lover's At Heaven's Gate Ranch
A track that creeps up on you, that promptly ends before you realize it.

I think that, in comparisin to their other material, Ten Songs is somewhat sub-par but it is quite great compared to anything else out in the last 10 years calling itself "emo". If you were going to buy your first IHM release, I'd go with "Four Songs". Or you could wait a while and then buy their "complete discography" CD. Also, IHM went on to become Burnman, another superb band.