As The World Burns


Matador Records, 1999

REVIEW BY: Jason Thornberry


Fondle 'Em Records stars the Arsonists move over to Matador, which has released some excellent hip-hop, proving they don't just wanna know about Modest Mouse and Pavement. This crew kills the fakers, and make Eminem's style sound empty (even though they do compliment him on "As the World Burns"), and extremely corny. Eminem: the white rapper, who makes it okay for caucasian kids to act black in Utah, and proceed like the blonde-haired, blue-eyed, Aryan sensation would. Elvis got popular the same way -- by appropriating a whole 'nother culture that he my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 really wasn't part of, no matter where he grew up, or who he hung out with.

I read an interview recently with Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst. Inside he was discounting the accusations by some, that meatheads, in particular, seem drawn to his band's zero-intelligence meanderings, and base, third-grade-drop-out consciousness. His excuse was that in high school the bullies beat him up. Yeah, now they give you high-fives in the front row! "You ain't hardcore cuz you spike your hair when a jock still lives inside yer head!" (The Dead Kennedys) Read into that, please, Fred. Or have someone read it for you.

While he gets Hooked on Phonics, the Arsonists leave everything in their path smoldering. "I'm a human microphone, and my lyrics the vocal chords." There are lots of really funny sound effects on this record that would normally be over-dubbed as substitutes on the 'clean version' for fu!% or sh*@ or ni&^a. Instead, they're flourishes to normal phrases, and you get to where you realize the Arsonists are approaching musique concrete, with found sounds blazing (Literally. See "Blaze") the path, and bringing hip-hop into a new millennium.

The best quotes here: "Gotta stop smokin' MC's. Somebody pass me the Nicorette." Or "You're a pervert jerkin' off to porno's of me and your moms."

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2003 Jason Thornberry and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Matador Records, and is used for informational purposes only.