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

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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.



12 Comments

  1. StraightToHell8210/10/2011 5:05 PM | Permalink

    Meh, disappointing.

  2. seikapunx
    SeikaPunx10/10/2011 5:23 PM | Permalink

    I listen the stream of this album and i think it’s not bad.Maybe not sound how your last album but still rocks!!!

  3. inorbit
    InOrbit10/10/2011 5:47 PM | Permalink

    It is my understanding that Mikey Erg is in this band. It is also my understanding that he is not being used to his full potential. What a shame.

  4. Christian Hamilton10/12/2011 4:19 AM | Permalink

    I’ve always had a sort of love-hate relationship with STF, in my opinion their songs range from awesome to annoying as hell. This album is about the same in my opinion.

  5. Christian Hamilton10/12/2011 4:20 AM | Permalink

    SFH, sorry

  6. godsfragiletoscience
    GodsFragileToScience10/15/2011 5:12 PM | Permalink

    This album is not as good as “Untill We’re Dead”, but it is definitely MUCH better than “Never Rest in Peace.”

    They lost Nico Ramirez D:, but the new singer Kelsey, from Chump Change, is definitely pretty good.

    Awesome album!

  7. kaywhyz
    KayWhyz10/19/2011 3:40 PM | Permalink

    Honestly, I fucking love this album. I’m listening to it now on my fifth go at it and none of the songs are tiring. They’re all great and I don’t feel the need to skip one here or one there I did with some other SFH songs. “Dumpster to the Grave” immediately reminds you why you fucking love SFH, with the ska influence blending perfectly into the more hardcore portions. The Album blends each song into eachother that you just feel fine listening to all of it, even if they can all stand on their own. And the blend from outro to intro when you have the album on repeat might make you forget the album ended and have you listen again.
    The song-writing is pretty top-notch for SFH, even if a lot of the instances of saying “fuck” might not be needed, but there’s definitely a lot to love here even if you can’t love it all.

  8. danzombie
    DanZombie10/23/2011 1:44 AM | Permalink

    the spanish line for “Otra Vez” is actually “Chinguense los Federales” (i know in the album is spelled like “Chingan se” but it’s wrong, they left it like that bc of the metrics of the verses) which means “fuck the border patrol or border officers” , i’m telling you bc i helped Sturgeon with those spanish lines, I’m from Mexico City and i speak spanish as my 1st language..
    Cheers!! Good review !!!

    check out my band
    Niño Zombi
    http://www.myspace.com/ninozombi
    http://www.reverbnation.com/ninozombipunxka
    http://www.facebook.com/ninozombi

    there are different songs on each profile

  9. rob-vomit
    Rob Vomit10/26/2011 8:22 AM | Permalink

    Naturally after extremely enjoying the first two albums I thought this would be no different. I was wrong, after 3 full listens i found myself extremely let down. No songs really stood out as catchy and most stood out half assed. Maybe stza should focuis and point more time into the next SFH or possibly LOC album instead of releasing one after another.

  10. lizaeckert
    Liza11/30/2011 4:03 PM | Permalink

    Ah, thanks! I had to make my best guess from listening, because unsurprisingly it doesn’t come up in Google Translate.

  11. captainreiss
    captainreiss12/29/2011 1:45 PM | Permalink

    Horses for courses…. great album, more polished than the earlier stuff. A winner for me…

  12. Bzzr Wrynisimus1/15/2012 12:11 AM | Permalink

    Fucking love this album, goes a bit wobbly in the middle but soon picks it back up. Anything that Stza does is the canines lovespuds to me

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