For Fans Of
Gym Class Heroes are a group whose blend of hip hop, pop and emo has been getting hyped in the US over the last 2 years. Having Fall Out Boy mouthpiece Pete Wentz talking your band up at every available opportunity certainly doesn’t hurt either. But does GCH’s music stand on its own too feet?
“As Cruel As School Children” has some great tracks. Opening number “The Queen And I” is instantly catchy, and the inclusion of flamenco guitar over the chorus adds a great touch. “Shoot Down The Stars” and “New Friend Request” keep things moving along nicely – both tracks have an 80’s feel to them which is lacking in so many modern day hip hop records.
“Clothes Off” is a song which is destined to be sung by millions of middle class white kids the world over. A sing a long hip hop track if I’ve ever heard one, the chorus hook is going to be a party favourite for years to come (oh yeh, and the guitar solo is awesome).
Unfortunately, it’s here that “As Cruel As School Children” stumbles. The entire mid – section of the record slows down to an almost R n B/pop vibe – and not the good kind (you know, the kind of pop song that has you singing along but you’re hoping no one actually sees you doing it). The flow of the album essentially stops at track 5 and never really recovers. While some of the songs are good, it isn’t until track 14 (and lead single), “Cupid’s Chokehold” that a genuine hit is heard again.
Putting aside the celebrity support (and the accompanying hype machine
that is working over time), Gym Class Heroes have created an enjoyable
pop record – albeit an inconsistent one. The band now has a platform to
build upon for their next release, and I hope they make the most of it.
1. “The Queen and I” [3:14]
2. “Shoot Down the Stars” [3:38]
3. “New Friend Request” [4:14]
4. “Clothes Off!” [3:55]
5. “Sloppy Love Jingle” [1:52]