Star Fucking Hipsters - Never Rest in Peace (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Star Fucking Hipsters

Star Fucking Hipsters: Never Rest in Peace

Never Rest in Peace (2009)

Alternative Tentacles


3.5
Even without excessive hyperbole, there are a few ways that parallels can be drawn between Choking Victim and Wu-Tang Clan. Superficially, they both emerged from the NYC area in the 1990s, and musically, they separately created styles that would be as influential in sound as in imagery and subject m...

Even without excessive hyperbole, there are a few ways that parallels can be drawn between Choking Victim and Wu-Tang Clan. Superficially, they both emerged from the NYC area in the 1990s, and musically, they separately created styles that would be as influential in sound as in imagery and subject matter. But whether it's the hardcore Kung Fu hip-hop of RZA and company or the Crack Rock Steady of Stza and associates, both acts' members would go on to spawn a virtual franchise of additional projects and offshoots built on the success of their full-length debut. While Enter the 36 Chambers was followed by such offspring as Only Built 4 Cuban Linx..., Tical, and Liquid Swords, what followed No Gods, No Managers and the break-up of Choking Victim saw the eventual formation of a multitude of projects including, but not limited to, Leftover Crack, InDK, Crack Rock Steady 7, Public Serpents, Morning Glory, Piss Shit Fuck, American Distress and our subject here, the Star Fucking Hipsters.

When Stza put word out a few years back that the band was forming, finding a female vocalist was a necessity; Crass' Penis Envy was a stated benchmark and they needed an Eve Libertine-type to serve as an equally ferocious frontwoman. Coincidentally, they almost could have mentioned the Velvet Underground as a basis for comparison, as Star Fucking Hipsters would eventually find their female counterpart in Nico (de Gaillo) who shares vocal duties with Stza in the same way Lou Reed and Christa Päffgen collaborated on The Velvet Underground and Nico.

Never Rest in Peace follows Until We're Dead in similar fashion, with short crusty punk numbers, Crack Rock Steady ska tunes, a spattering of raw pop-punk and thrashy metallic jams. "3000 Miles Away" gets the disc going after the 16-second opener with catchy vocals and a comfortable chord pattern, brought to a head with the epic climax that kicks in three-quarters of the way through with the gang shouting "L-I-V-E against brutality!" Nico and Stza toggle back and forth with an unorthodox melody on "Design" while Dick Lucas of the Subhumans / Citizen Fish helps out on the ska-punk "The Civilization Show." The feedback-heavy "Dreams Are Dead" rings slow and steady, a touch reminiscent of LoC's "Ya Can't Go Home" while the poppy fist-pumper "Severance Pay" evokes friendly memories of "Burn Them Prisons."

The band polishes their metal chops on the slightly goofy "S.F.H." and the more incisive pro-Native rallying cry "Banned from the Land." The group sounds a little tired creatively on the generic anti-religious "Heaven" and presumptuously Roman Catholic-sounding "Church and Rape," which is actually a pro-choice song that would be more effectively aimed at the post-Reagan conservative movement. The album closes out on a high note, however, with the title track (labeled as "You'll Never Rest in Piece" in the booklet) clocking in at a well-used four-and-a-half minutes that seems to cover the entire Star Fucking Hipsters philosophy as Stza testifies "These ghosts will lead the way / Until your dying day / Unstitch the seams in your American dreams / From Guantanamo to Abu Ghraib."

Featuring cameos from past and present members of the Bouncing Souls, Subhumans, Zero Content, Awkward Thought, Citizen Fish and a host of other formidable acts in punk rock, the Star Fucking Hipsters don't disappoint on Never Rest in Peace. It may not be Fuck World Trade...Pt. II, but it certainly carries on in its tradition.