Album Review
Gym Class Heroes - The Quilt Album Cover

Gym Class Heroes - The Quilt

Reviewed by
Gym Class HeroesThe Quilt
Release Date: September 9, 2008
Record Label: Fueled By Ramen/Decaydance/Atlantic
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
When Gym Class Heroes released 2006’s As Cruel As School Children, it wasn’t perceived immediately as being a big hit. The band had their core fan base, but the focus was more on labelmates Fall Out Boy, Panic At The Disco, and The Academy Is…. Then the band released a remix cut of “Cupid’s Chokehold,” which was originally featured on 2005’s Papercut Chronicles. That song turned everything around for the band, as Travis McCoy and company crashed the mainstream.

GCH look to continue that same line of success while progressing as a band with the release of The Quilt, but what we hear throughout the album is that that line is hard to toe, as the band falls off every now and then.

I can tell you that this is Gym Class Heroes most diverse album, as well as their most rock and hip-hop album. How is that possible? Well, that’s where the variety pops its head in. Tracks like the incredibly catchy “Cookie Jar” (which features The-Dream on the hook) and “Peace Sign/Index Down” (where Busta Rhymes lends a verse) display the hip-hop elements of the band well, with stellar production from Tricky Stewart and Cool & Dre, respectively. But “Don’t Tell Me It’s Over” is probably the best hip-hop song I’ve heard from the band. McCoy brings the fire and displays his swagger throughout, commanding your attention and bringing his best lyrics out.

As for the rock/full band element, guitar riffs from Disashi Lumumba-Kasongo scatter in and out on “Cookie Jar,” while horns pepper opener “Guilty As Charged.” “Drnk Txt Rmeo” channels Sublime and “Blinded by the Sun” touches briefly on ska, samples Corey Hart’s “Sunglasses At Night,” and features vocals from Fall Out Boy crooner Patrick Stump. “Live Forever (Fly With Me)” is probably a track the band is very proud of, as the famed Daryl Hall, a seven-minute journey that soars as Disashi shines on guitar again.

The fusion of hip-hop and rock comes into full focus with “Home,” “which begins with a screeching guitar riff from Disashi and bounces into a nice beat produced by Cool & Dre. Some missteps on the record though include the incredibly cheesy “Like Father, Like Son (Papa’s Song),” which has good intentions but terrible execution. The album closer, “Coming Clean,” feels out of place and clunky, ending the album on a weird note.

The Quilt is a very conflicting record for this reviewer. Musically, this album is fantastic for the most part. The fusion of hip-hop and rock is balanced very nicely. But the biggest killer on the album is McCoy’s lyrics. Granted, he does spit out a few gems, but his metaphors are lacking and his concepts are thin. He does improve on his vocal delivery though, but not enough to overcome his lyrical duds. The biggest question is if The Quilt will carry on the mainstream success As Cruel As School Children began. Early numbers with the two singles (“Cookie Jar” and “Peace Sign/Index Down”) don’t look too promising, but if they release the right track, they could be right back on the radio. The difficult part is finding that track. For now though, The Quilt serves more of a conflicting blanket, with a band confused on who they want to be wrapped up in the middle of it.

Additional InformationTrack Listing:
1. Guilty As Charged featuring Estelle
2. Drnk Txt Rmeo featuring Patty Crash
3. Peace Sign/Index Down featuring Busta Rhymes
4. Like Father, Like Son (Papa’s Song)
5. Blinded by the Sun featuring Patrick Stump
6. Catch Me If You Can
7. Cookie Jar featuring The-Dream
8. Live A Little
9. Don’t Tell Me It’s Over featuring Lil Wayne
10. Live Forever (Fly With Me) featuring Daryl Hall
11. Kissin’ Ears featuring The-Dream
12. Home
13. No Place To Run
14. Coming Clean
Featuring production by: Cool & Dre, Patrick Stump, and Tricky Stewart

Gym Class Heroes are:
Travis McCoy – vocals
Disashi Lumumba-Kasongo – guitar/vocals
Eric Roberts – bass

Matt McGinley – drums

Official Website; Official Myspace; Official AP.net Profile

Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 76
10:35 PM on 09/07/08
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slimfenix182's Avatar
I'll check it out. wish they were as indie as they were when they started out though.
01:01 AM on 09/08/08
Find a thread to pull...
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singyoutocoma's Avatar
Daryl Hall? Wtf.
03:24 AM on 09/08/08
Here, It Never Snowed
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Kbm600's Avatar
Well, that’s were the variety pops its head in.

Not being a grammar nazi, but shouldn't that be "where".

Just trying to help, and great review!
05:16 AM on 09/08/08
Prison Strength
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hockeyguitar99's Avatar
Great review, I'm really excited, but if you're correct, then I know I'll enjoy this album.
05:45 AM on 09/08/08
Strives for better musical taste.
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Timetoroll's Avatar
Sorta excited. Not sure how they became popular in punk circles, but whatever.
05:48 AM on 09/08/08
The World Won't Listen.
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GoWaitInTheCar's Avatar
Home is on Madden 09, and it seems like it's a raw rap ballad which is something this band hardly believes in anymore.

Back in the day, I thought they were pretty clever, nowadays they just do anything to conform.
05:54 AM on 09/08/08
you're pretty fetch.
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FayeQC's Avatar
Are any of these songs on their myspace?
Bah, cruel as schoolchildren never really grew on me
06:18 AM on 09/08/08
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No Avatar Selected
The lyrics on this record made me want to vomit. Even that 4.75 seems high.
06:21 AM on 09/08/08
Died from an accident.
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blimpcityhero11's Avatar
I'm actually digging this album from the first few listens, but I agree that the lyrics are hardly anything to brag about...
06:28 AM on 09/08/08
Rob Carey Peterson
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ManicanParty49's Avatar
I don't know. I really like Papa's Song. I thought that the story and lyrics were really well crafted and the music fitted really well with it.
I really like this album. I like it more than School Children, simply because of the diversity, but School Children wasn't supposed to be a diverse album so it's all good. Not sure how it compares to Papercut Chronicles, but I wouldn't want to compare them because they are two entirely different albums.

All in all, solid release in my opinion.
06:30 AM on 09/08/08
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deebs823's Avatar
I'm actually digging this album from the first few listens, but I agree that the lyrics are hardly anything to brag about...

completely agree on that part...
06:42 AM on 09/08/08
do you believe in magic?
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klawansie7's Avatar
I'll check it out. wish they were as indie as they were when they started out though.

i totally agree.
wish they made more music like the papercut chronicles...
07:15 AM on 09/08/08
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zachff's Avatar
I think Will Beckett has a cameo on Blinded By The Sun as well(?) right before Stump?
I loved Papercut Chronicles, not as much ACASC, but I'll give this a shot.
07:54 AM on 09/08/08
It could be a bowling site.
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bailmeout13's Avatar
Good review. Curious to check this out.

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