Somewhere back around 2000, I first heard Mindless Self Indulgence. The name alone caught my attention. This was back when I still had a dial-up, 56k modem and sites like the iTunes store and YouTube didn't exist. In those days, I still discovered music the old-school way -- by buying it on instinct.
I'd read some small blurb about MSI and their bizarre style of self-proclaimed "industrial jungle pussy punk" and figured I should at least give the band the benefit of a listen.
At the record store, I managed to locate a copy of the band's brand new album, "Frankenstein Girls Will Seem Strangely Sexy" and a copy of their previous disc, "Tight". That day, I only had the funds for one album, so "Frankenstein Girls..." made its way into my collection. Little did I know at that time, but I would never see another copy of "Tight" in stores again. In fact, after it went out of print, the only copies I would see from then on have sold for $100 and up on eBay.
I can remember "Frankenstein Girls..." was a pretty strange first listen and an album I had to digest in pieces. It was pretty out there for my tastes at the time. But, as I started to give it more of a chance, it really grew on me. It was totally tongue-in-cheek, uninhibited, foul-mouthed and over-the-top... and once I got that, I couldn't stop listening to it. Every listen exposed something I hadn't picked up on before.
A year or so later, I was visiting Lonely Note Steve in college and talked him into helping me download "Tight". It took some real scouring, but we eventually found all of the tracks and Steve graciously burned them onto a cd for me.
This time, I didn't have to wait for the songs to grow on me. From the get go, "Tight" was a hit in my book. The frenetic, attention-deficit pacing was there. The obscene songs clocking in at under 2 minutes were there. Frontman Little Jimmy Urine was rapping and shouting and belting out falsetto notes in between. The whole thing was absurd and demented and childishly entertaining.
One obvious album standout was a twisted cover of Method Man's "Bring the Pain". The rhymes were still there, but the beats were now breakneck and the vocals were all over the map.
Ten years later, "Tight" is still a staple album for the times when I just need to let loose and take life a little less seriously. And even though I've bought every MSI record since then and seen the band live on 4 or 5 occasions, I've never truly owned a copy of "Tight".
Rumors flew for years that the band was going to re-release "Tight" to make up for the ridiculous selling prices on eBay.
Finally, this past month, Mindless Self Indulgence re-issued their cult album as "Tighter" - a remastered album containing 12 previously-unreleased songs and a bonus DVD in addition to the original tracklist. Unheard demos, remixes and b-sides round out the offerings to make this one hard to pass up for any longtime fan of the band.
One of my favorite tracks on the re-issue is a New Wave version of "Bring The Pain", which re-imagines the band's original take on the song as a much more subdued dance single. The lyrics are still foul, but the vocal stylings and '80s keyboards could almost warrant this one a Top 40 single.
Take a listen to Mindless Self Indulgence's "Bring the Pain (New Wave)" below to see what I mean:
...And if you've still never heard the original version, you can check it out HERE.
For more information on this album and where to buy it, please visit the official MindlessSelfIndulgence.com