MUSIC REVIEW
FEELS LIKE BREAKIN' SHIT
 
BY STEVE JUSTICE
 

This collection of b-sides from Self's Matt Mahaffey isn't really a far stretch from his two full-length Spongebath Records releases. Like "Subliminal Plastic Motives," and "Breakfast With Girls" it has toe-tappin' pop appeal and enough hard-core hooks to, well, make you feel like breakin' shit.

"Feels Like Breakin' Shit" is an Internet only release that includes 17 previously unreleased tracks. Twelve songs are Mahaffey originals that could have easily been wrapped up as a legitimate full-length release and sold at stores.

The production value may be a little lower and the music a little less layered than what Self listeners are used to. But Self is generally a bit on the lo-fi side of things because Mahaffey records most of his songs in his home studio in Murfreesboro, TN.

Some of the better originals include the power-pop ballad "Wide Awake At 7," the groovy, slick tribute "Breakdancer's Reunion," and the dirty, driving ugly tune "Dog You Are."

The disc also feature three cover tunes, "Lets Pretend We're Married" by Prince, "Fat Man + Dancing Girl" by Suzanne Vega, and "Dizzy" by Tommy Roe.

Of the three songs, the Prince tune is the highlight. It includes a Mahaffey rant summing up Prince's somewhat sketchy career.

"Prince Rogers Nelson, His Royal Badness, the man in the purple cape. You know, back in `78, remember, he had an afro. Prince came out. Dirty Mind, Controversy, boy my sister loved those," Mahaffey deadpans.

Eventually, he concludes: "And then Swing. What the fuck is swing. Who names an album Swing. Not to mention your own personality."

Mahaffey also shows his ability to parody as good as the master himself, Weird Al Yankovic. Bringing back memories of "Fat" and "I Lost on Jeopardy," Mahaffey offers up "Moronic," a send-up of Alanis Morrisette's "Ironic," and "Titanic," a little ditty about the movie set to the tune of the Pixies "Gigantic."

"Moronic" begins: "She's a leprechaun, with a mouth full of bile. She's a movie lover sucking cock in the aisle."

Just in case Mahaffey's opinion of Morrisette wasn't clear, he elaborates in the chorus.

"It's pure pain when she hits the airwaves, with a pack of lies that she wrote in the third grade. She's a head of lice, that you just can't shake. And each single makes me sicker."

That's good stuff, unless you're a big Alanis Morrisette fan. But, if you are a big Morrisette fan, you probably wouldn't enjoy Self in the first place.

The covers and parodies on this disc may be what catches most listeners' ears, and they may be a good way to introduce people to the band, but the strength of this disc is with the originals.

Oh yeah, did I mention it's free. That's right baby, free music: 17 songs complete with downloadable lyrics and album art. Really, what's not to like?



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