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Universal Doldrums

by David King on January 12, 2011

The Left Rights
Bad Choices made Easy

The left rights
If you are familiar with New York City techno-rap-punk act Mindless Self Indulgence, you know they have an off-kilter, sometimes offensive sense of humor. But if you thought MSI’s bizarre sexual lyrics were the apex of their depravity, and their music the apex of their creativity, you were mistaken. MSI vocalist Jimmy Urine and guitarist Johnny Righ? use side project the Left Rights as a dumping ground for their most far-out and fantastical musical atrocities. The lead single “White” is likely blasphemous to a good number people on myriad levels. “Just like Michael Jackson I will be white, suburban, middle class/I’ll never have to work again.” The auto-tune effect on Urine’s vocals is the first tip that the song is a diss-track aimed at Kanye West and his MJ obsession. The follow-up lyrics that drip with absurd levels of auto tune only confirm it: “I can always piss my life away/There will never be any consequences/It doesn’t matter what I say/Mommy’s always gonna pay for college!”

Just when you think you’ve pinned down exactly who the band are trying to insult, they switch it up. “Retail stores/Liquor and whores/I got one black friend and I don’t want more/The only thing better than Star Wars/Is a keytar solo from 1994!” Urine raps. As said keytar solo unfolds, Urine comments, “Oh yeah, this is better than standing still at a Radiohead concert!”

For the record, Urine and Righ? are both white and probably rich by this point. But they exist to provoke, inflame and simultaneously break down stereotypes. They do it in one- or two- minute long blasts of odd samples, shitty guitar licks and big beats. Ween-like folky interludes sung in bad foreign accents break up the techno-punk. Songs like “Little Hardons” and “Alabaster Street” are delivered like Irish folk tunes but focus on perverse sex acts. “All the people that you meet/Here on Alabaster Street/They wank you with their feet!” someone sings like a cockney carnival barker.

At 41 tracks, Bad Choices is either the most immature and insulting or insanely creative and hysterical album you will hear all year. It just depends on what type of person you are. I, for one, love it. And that means most normal people won’t.