Album Review: Star Fucking Hipsters – “From The Dumpster To The Grave”

Album Review: Star Fucking Hipsters – “From The Dumpster To The Grave”

One thing Star Fucking Hipsters do incredibly well is seamlessly blend several different genres and sub-genres together on a single album — or even on one song. They did just that on their first two records — “Until We’re Dead” and “Never Rest in Peace” — and they pushed the trend even further on volume 3, “From the Dumpster to the Grave.”

The group has, in the past, combined elements of punk, ska and a touch of metal the most strongly. They amp it up a little more on this record — one of the tracks has a decidedly poppy feel and another brings in some hip-hop. Plus they added lines of Spanish and covered They Might Be Giants.

The album opens (and closes) with stripped-down versions of “Death is Never Out of Fashion.” Sandwiched between those two short tracks are about 28 minutes of SFH’s signature politically-driven, lyrically aggressive punk. They take on American excess and dumpster diving (“Dumpster to the Grave”), police brutality (“Honey I Shrunk the Cops!”) and religion (“Rapture, Rinse, Repeat”), among other topics.

Both “Dumpster to the Grave” and “Death is Never Out of Fashion” start off loud and pounding, flying out of the gate into fast and screaming songs. “War Widows Vietnam” has a surprisingly poppy feel to it, slowed down a little and with a distinctive bounce. “The Broken Branches” harkens back to SFH’s previous two albums — opening with a soft female voice and exploding into a barrage of guitars.

On the second half of the album things get interesting — that is to say, you get “9/11 ’til Infinity,” a hip-hop-infused track which features a verse from Boots Riley and a little bit of Stza rapping. That sounds like it should be ridiculous, but he’s actually pretty good at it. Really. They also cover the They Might Be Giants track “Ana Ng.” Again, that sounds like it shouldn’t work as well as it does. They infuse the verses with a jumpy ska and manage to really own the song, making it vastly different from the original.

The album goes multilingual, too, which is pretty exciting to listen to. “¡Otra Vez!” is a mixture of Spanish and English lyrics, which is both jarring to hear and really fun if you happen to be a big nerd who loves hearing songs in other languages. Especially when one of those lines is “chingan se los federales,” which they didn’t teach me in high school or college but I’m pretty sure roughly translates to “fuck the police.”

The band went through some line-up transitions, and this album lists three different female vocalists — Nico De Gallo, Kill-C and Yula Beeri — which can be a little overwhelming and confusing, because it’s hard to tell exactly who you’re listening to at any given time. It keeps things interesting, though, and whatever else you might want to say about this album, you certainly can’t call it boring.

“From the Dumpster to the Grave” is officially out tomorrow, October 11, on Fat Wreck Chords. SFH will play a record release show at Europa in Brooklyn, NY tomorrow night.

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