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MSI and the Littlest Jimmy Urine

By Karen Hain

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Mindless Self Indulgence is industrial, but not always. Punk, kind of. Electronic, in a way. You hear some rap in the band’s albums, yet they’re not rappers. The enigma has captivated followers over 15 years and five studio albums, and the newest, PINK, will be released on Sept. 18. This is the lost album, written and recorded from 1990-1997, when frontman Little Jimmy Urine was, well…little. The 19 tracks peek into 20-something Jimmy’s mind and the formation of MSI’s sound. Eager fans have been whispering about PINK for a long time now, ready to hear how everything started for MSI.
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To put it simply, the new old tracks sound like MSI. I was happy listening to my old friends with a sense of familiarity. The eclectic, refreshing, goofy, sarcastic, exaggerated sound apparently has always been there. Jimmy has always been a weirdo. But PINK is a little bit tamer; MSI was learning to walk and getting its footing. As an easy example, its lyrics are less vulgar and nonsensical, some bordering on reflective, a side of MSI we don’t see often (“It’s okay, my life has always been a sad emotion. Don’t feel sorry for me.”).
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With MSI, there is usually so much going on at once. You’re here, you’re there, tones going up and down, sudden singing, vocals shrieking, shouting, then something sounds a little normal, ‘oh wait, that’s realllllly high pitched!,’ It’s a rush. PINK has those same elements, but they’re separated. It is simpler, but still interesting. I feel reckless just by listening to it, a highlight any Mindless fan appreciates, and upon starting the first track, its wackiness put me in a place where I immediately felt like I was at a MSI show. I was suddenly imagining hundreds of smelly, sweaty bodies jumping around and singing into the mic when it gets shoved close enough to the crowd. MSI’s work, including PINK, makes everything else boring by comparison.
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http://mindlessselfindulgence.com/
Photo by Claire Marie Vogel

In the past, MSI fans feuded over early albums and proceeding ones, starting ten years ago with You’ll Rebel to Anything and then If. I remember hearing “Shut Me Up” once or twice on the radio around that time, which made a couple people lose their minds. Songs became longer, maybe more polished. Critics attacked MSI for catering to a younger, more typical audience. Some even dared to call the band ‘mature,’ and saw the albums as failures, a product of selling out and attracting attainability.
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To those people I say, “Get off of your high horse,” by the way. Yes, there were some differences, but for the most part, You’ll Rebel and If were very Mindless. Instead of listening to the album and having a good time with it, critics overthought everything. However, those who did have a problem with the later albums will absolutely love PINK. There’s definite old school MSI as you first got to know them, like on tracks “Device” and “Slim,” my favorites of the album. You could have taken those and put them on Tight or Frankenstein Girls, and they’d fit right in. And those on the other end of the brawl will like the simpler elements mentioned before.
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The album would be worth a purchase even if only contained the “Personal Jesus” and “Girls On Film” covers. MSI’s warped “Personal Jesus” is right up there with Manson’s, though I’m not sure any cover can beat “Bring the Pain” off of Tight.
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The best part of the entire package is the longest and last track, “Angry Boy.” A young Little Jimmy Urine’s audio diaries his thoughts on knowing who he is and needing to get that out into the world. His words, way back then, sum up what Mindless DID become and what makes them special.
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PINK is a treat for MSI fans

Pink album cover

“I keep moving and moving, trying to start a step ahead of people, even if it’s a step ahead in a direction that no one’s going to go…That’s what it’s all about. Creating is putting things together that don’t go together, and you make something else because it’s all about progress,” he says.
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PINK is a treat for MSI fans. If you’re not one yet, rockers and ravers, get your act together and preorder the album. At the very least, the band will give you something you’ve never heard before.
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http://mindlessSelfIndulgence.com will link you to vinyl, CD, or digital copies.
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