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Gym Class Heroes - Patches from the Quilt Album Cover

Gym Class Heroes - Patches from the Quilt

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9.0
Gym Class Heroes - Patches from the Quilt
Record Label: Fueled by Ramen
Release Date: July 8, 2008
Normally I wouldn't even consider giving a three-song iTunes EP a whole review, especially with only a little over a month until the release of the full album, but the new Gym Class Heroes is worth my time. And hopefully, yours too.

Despite the occasional memorable hook, As Cruel as School Children disappointed me drastically. I was a huge Gym Class Heroes fan after hearing The Papercut Chronicles for the first time, and it was in constant play on my iPod for months. As Cruel as School Children was nothing like its predecessor; it sacrificed the beautiful and unadulterated electric guitar of songs like "Simple Living," the trademark of The Papercut Chronicles, for synthesizers, childish chants, and horribly annoying interludes. Perhaps the band was trying to imitate their breakout hit, "Cupid's Chokehold," or perhaps As Cruel as School Children was attempting to be a concept album, but whatever the case, only three or four songs were listenable.

With three songs now available from their upcoming release The Quilt, Gym Class Heroes sound like they've managed to separate themselves not only from their last album, but also their debut. Take the best parts of each album, a few new sounds, and compile what could be their best album to date.

The EP begins with "Cookie Jar" (featuring The Dream), a potential smash hit, which mixes The Dream's falsetto chorus with some of Travis McCoy's best lyrics to date. The song uses lines about being unable to resist cookies ("I wanna be faithful, but I can't keep my hands out the cookie jar" and "I'm still a cookie whore") as a metaphor for cheating, which I consider genius. The song is catchy and unique, lacking the immaturity of As Cruel as School Children, but more mainstream than anything found on The Papercut Chronicles. The next song, "Peace Sign/Index Down," featuring Busta Rhymes, is the first single from The Quilt, and it reminds me strongly of "The Queen And I" with its sense of humor and slight amount of anger.

Lastly, "Blinded by the Sun," which utilizes horns extremely well, switches the roles in "Cookie Jar," with McCoy now being the one who is getting cheated on. This song recalls early Gym Class Heroes the most out of the trio, which boosts it in my ratings, but it still can't reach the incessantly-catchy "Cookie Jar." Though the EP unfortunately maxes out at three songs (after all, it is a preview), I am now anticipating the upcoming full-length with much impatience. Gym Class Heroes does hip-hop better than almost any act out there, and they seem to have raised the bar even higher with their new work.

Recommended if You LikeFueled by Ramen bands, previous Gym Class Heroes material, hip-hop mixed with pop rock

myspace.com/gymclassheroes
This review is a user submitted review from BlackpoolLights. You can see all of BlackpoolLights's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 17
09:41 AM on 07/28/08
#2
hockeyguitar99
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Very well written review, but I can't agree with your statements about "Cookie Jar". It's just a generic rap song with zero substance, the other two songs are far superior to it.
11:01 AM on 07/28/08
#3
The Old Black
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Very well written review, but I can't agree with your statements about "Cookie Jar". It's just a generic rap song with zero substance, the other two songs are far superior to it.



agreed. In fact, I think blinded by the sun is the strongest track on this EP
11:26 AM on 07/28/08
#4
Jeremy Aaron
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Oatmeal raisin Asians?! Scooby snacks?! Was this the best that the self-proclaimed lyrical genius McCoy could come up with?

It's the perfect example of a band with something to say transitioning into one with something to sell. The premise for "Cookie Jar" wasn't bad, per se, but it's sort of a missed opportunity. "I want to be faithful, but..." sets the stage for a potential conflict, the opportunity to explore the constant internal struggle with temptation that the character faces. Despite "wanting to be faithful," the rest of the song isn't consistent with that. Instead, it seems to embrace infidelity and becomes an exercise in rhyming nationalities and cookie flavors.

Besides, how strong of a metaphor is that anyway, especially when "cookie" is a common euphemism for a certain part of the female anatomy. It didn't require that big of a leap or stroke of genius to come up with the concept.
03:42 PM on 07/28/08
#5
Richard Maxim
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i have lost all excitement for this release and sadly all hope in this band is leaving as well. =C
08:55 PM on 07/28/08
#6
EchoPark
promesas son sombras
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Gym Class Heroes does hip-hop better than almost any act out there, and they seem to have raised the bar even higher with their new work.



I suggest you brush up on your research as I can name you 30 other hip hop acts that shit all over Travis McCoy and his faux hip hop
09:21 PM on 07/28/08
#7
Loch_Doun
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Wrong.
Just tell me exactly what influences your hearing from their debut...
02:09 PM on 07/29/08
#8
BlackpoolLights
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I didn't expect most people to agree with my analysis of the album, and it probably would have been wise for me to mention that my favorite thing about Cookie Jar is how well I relate to the song...but that's not exactly something to brag about.

EchoPark - with perhaps one possible exception, "underground hip-hop" is my least favorite quote-unquote "genre" there is. When I hear somebody mention it, I shudder. Mainstream rap and hip-hop I can respect, but don't personally like very much. GCH are one of the few hip-hop acts that I like entire CDs by, so yes, with all my research in place, I still put them at the top of my list. That's just my personal opinion, though.

Loch_Doun - first, Papercut Chronicles is not their debut, that's For The Kids. Which I don't particularly like. Second, lyrics absorb the majority of my attention in rock music, and the lyrics seem more on par with Chronicles than School Children. Third, the presence of a Chronicles-like guitar riff on Blinded By The Sun and a great piano riff on the lead single. Fourth, the production - something even avid music listeners nowadays have no ear for. I've been in studios, studied production techniques, and listened closely to countless LPs, cassettes, CDs, and especially MP3s for the production alone. Simply put, it reminds me more of their second album than their third. Again, just my opinion. I believe it to be a valid one, however.

Thanks for the comments! I do appreciate them, however contradictory to my review they might be.
06:23 PM on 07/29/08
#9
drkpoet
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false.my expectations were low to begin with.but this is just sad. byebye gymclassheroes.
06:23 AM on 07/30/08
Chris Fallon
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Gym Class Heroes does hip-hop better than almost any act out there, and they seem to have raised the bar even higher with their new work.



I suggest you brush up on your research as I can name you 30 other hip hop acts that shit all over Travis McCoy and his faux hip hop
Agree 100%
05:34 PM on 07/30/08
weworemasks
save the drama for wilmer valderama
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solid review, but i gotta disagree on the praise for cookie jar. it's a pop song. catchy as all hell, and i like it a lot, but no chance that it's genius. stoked for this album.
12:52 AM on 08/01/08
birtcho
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agreed. In fact, I think blinded by the sun is the strongest track on this EP
i think it is too. im looking forward to the album
08:49 AM on 08/01/08
francisRUINER
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I love it
the album is nothing like they have done
04:09 AM on 08/03/08
FreshyFresh23
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A lot of you people need to relax. Cookie Jar is a fun song. Just enjoy the music.
07:33 PM on 08/23/08
YeahRiight
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EchoPark - with perhaps one possible exception, "underground hip-hop" is my least favorite quote-unquote "genre" there is. When I hear somebody mention it, I shudder. Mainstream rap and hip-hop I can respect, but don't personally like very much. GCH are one of the few hip-hop acts that I like entire CDs by, so yes, with all my research in place, I still put them at the top of my list. That's just my personal opinion, though.




How the hell can you give respect to mainstream hip-hop and rap but "shudder" at underground hip-hop? Do you know what mainstream rap is? The shittier, dumbed down, retarded cousin with only one leg of underground hip-hop. Read up if you are interested in looking intelligent.

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