You Have No Idea What You’re Getting Yourself Into – Does It Offend You, Yeah?

You Have No Idea What You're Getting Yourself Into

You Have No Idea What You're Getting Yourself Into

You Have No Idea What You’re Getting Yourself Into

Does It Offend You, Yeah?

2008

Virgin

Okay, so I figured this would be the best album for me to review right now, as I’ve had it in my CD player in my car for awhile now, and I’ve listened to it a lot.  Let me start off by saying this:  I only found out about these guys in the winter of 2008/2009, I only found this album based on the cover, and I only listened to it because of weird track names, and their distinctive name.  And British guys doing an indie-dance-punk-house-electronica album? I wasn’t too sure about it.  That being said, I really dig the tunes.

Now onto the album… The first song, “Battle Royale” is an opener that sets the tone for the whole album.  Starting out with a repetitive backing, the electronica sounds soon start pumping in, and sound effects that sound like some kind of out-of-date device being tuned into a signal.  About halfway through, the song fades into a short bridge, and there is a bit of faded sound before the electronica comes back in (but different this time).  Several UFO’s take off, then we’re back to the main sound of the song, continuing until the abrupt, unexpected end.

“With a Heavy Heart (I Regret to Inform You)” comes in from nowhere after a very short silence with a heavy drum beat and what sounds like a guitar tuned by a blind and deaf quadriplegic.  We then get the first taste of vocals over a driving bassline that continues through most of the song.  The vocals sound like he is throwing all of his emotion behind the words, although the sound of his voice may annoy some.  The second verse contains what I think is one of the coolest sounds they produce on this album.  It sounds as if the guitarist is somehow playing a chord, scratching the same chord, and bending the string halfway up the neck.  It’s an awesome sound that I really can’t compare to anything else, but thankfully is used throughout the rest of the song.  All in all, this song has a sound like they’re trying to make an indie-house song into a poppy radio hit.  While it wasn’t a radio hit, it still remains one of my favorite on the album.

Next is the tune that most people have probably heard, but not realized who it was by.  It was featured in a movie, a video game, and a tv show, and many DJ’s scratch this song live.  “We Are Rockstars” starts with a few seconds of the faded beat, comes at you in full sound, but kind of soft, then goes hard, with a resounding ‘Yeah!’, as if the band is in full support of how it’s going.  The song itself is kind of repetitive, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  The sound is great, and then the sudden change to the chorus with the vocals is a good flow.  The vocals sound completely computerized, and it fits the tone of the song.  The words, and sound of them now that I think about it, “We are rockstars now… You’re a download now” seem to be a shot at the current state of the music industry, saying that all rock stars are just computerized and repetitive and in the end, all they end up being are a download… perhaps a shot a music piracy (a topic I’ll cover in a post at another time). Basically that covers the whole song, as it just repeats with a slow loss of layers at the ending, until it fades to silence.

“Dawn of the Dead” is a track that seemed somewhat out of place to me for a few listens.  It sounds like an 80’s song because of the synth sounds and the sound of the vocals.  The lyrics tell the story of someone leaving home for good, but they’re having second thoughts until someone ignores them, when the person leaving didn’t intend to hurt them with their departure. This makes their decision final to leave.

“Doomed Now” jumps right into it off the bat, and the completely synthed vocals make a return from “We Are Rockstars here”, albeit slightly differently sound.  The guitar solo after the first chorus drives the song on, which is an ironic choice of words because I think of this song as a good driving song when you’re on a lonely straight road, late at night speeding towards your destination, and you can’t slow down.  The song slows down after the second chorus to just a drum kick, and some guitar, which crescendos into more strange noises like in “Battle Royale” and guitar pushing the song into another chorus.

I’m just going to say a few things on this song, because you really have to listen yourself to appreciate it.  “Attack of the 60 ft Lesbian Octopus” is the song that first made me interested in this album.  Of course from the name, but when I listened to it, it seemed to be begging me to listen to the whole album.  It has a Halloween-y sound to it, but for some reason when I listen to the whole album straight through, this song somehow gets lost in the mix.  I love it, but sometimes I have to go back because I forget if I heard it or not.  And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

“Let’s Make Out” starts with the title lyrics, and it’s clear that the lyrics are the driving force in this song.  It features Sebastien Grainger of Death from Above 1979 and his own solo work.  This song is different from the rest of the album because it is the lyrics that are meant to be the main focus, with the music itself being there for support.  That being said, this song in particular reminds me of The Rapture, another indie dance-punk band (damn it’s hard to define one genre for these types of band).

“Being Bad Feels Pretty Good” is next up and it follows up the previous track, and it seems like it does almost grudgingly at the start, before the full band comes in.  And for what it’s worth, the clap sound really sells this song to me.  Again, the high pitched vocals may turn some off, but I really like the sound; it fits this song, and the whole album really well.  This song almost feels like it’s meant to be a play on a ballad, but they end up just going back to their tried and true style of dance infusion.

“Weird Science” is a track that seems to feel like a penultimate track at the start, like it’s just here to set up the final song to be a memorable summation of the album.  This turns out to be not true.  It’s back to true electronica with this song, with synthed vocals that sound like gibberish.  It seems like they did their own ‘weird science’ with a few synthesizers and a mixer and they got this kickass song that just seems like it’s constantly on an upslope; like it’s building up to something.

Finally, the album closes with “Epic Last Song”.  This might be what they’re going for, but to be brutally honest, it really isn’t epic.  It is a very good song, however, and it definitely feels like an album closer.  It’s got the beat that will be stuck in your head, and the vocals will of course accompany the beat being superglued to your subconscious mind.  Again, it feels like they’re going for a really poppy-sounding radio hit here, and they kind of ditch the house sound they established early on in the record.  But it definitely doesn’t fit a cookie-cutter mold for radio hits, it just sounds more like what people think of as a “traditional track”, with a verse, chorus, verse, chorus, solo, bridge, chorus, outro.

All in all, this album definitely warrants a few listens to appreciate all the nuances.  And even more plays after you realize that it’s a very good album, and shouldn’t just be one you dust off once a year for nostalgic purposes.  If you managed to read of all of this, congrats.  My future reviews will not be nearly as wordy as this, it’s just that I’ve been listening to this a lot lately and had a lot of points to make.

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