Gym Class Heroes have all music-lovers covered with The Quilt

Amy Julian

What do you get when you cross a sex-loving, crack-smoking, Katy-Perry-dating front man with a random assortment of beats and hooks? An amazing collection that can only be summed up as Gym Class Heroes’ new release The Quilt.

The band that brought you the hits “Cupid’s Chokehold” and “Clothes Off” from their 2006 release, As Cruel as School Children, is back at it again, this time fusing their hip-hop roots with electronic beats and alternative rhythms. The Quilt (Decaydance/Fueled by Ramen) is the band’s fourth full-length CD released on September 9, 2008. Thus far, the album has received a steady increase of iTunes purchases and has proved that the goofy, fun-loving GCH are not simply one-hit wonders.

The Geneva, New York band came to fruition when lead singer Travis McCoy got the idea that the music scene was lacking. After rallying up a few friends (including the band’s drummer Matt McGinley, whom McCoy met in gym class), the band showcased their talents for Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump and quickly signed with fellow FOB Pete Wentz’s record label Decaydance. Four albums later, Gym Class Heroes prove that even the last ones picked in gym class can make it to the top and take names one their way up.

The Quilt is a welcome divergence from the somewhat monotonous hip-hop, bubblegum music of their prior releases. The album boasts not only their signature alternative hip-hop style (“Cookie Jar”), it also features tracks that would make John Legend (“Like Father, Like Son”), Fall Out Boy (“Live a Little”), and even Weezer (“No Place to Run”) proud. The diversity, while seemingly disjointed, is fresh, and for a band that prides itself on not making too much sense, it makes sense.

The first time I listened to The Quilt, I think my face contorted in ways that it only has in my statistics class. It just didn’t make sense. But after losing my inhibitions and realizing that’s exactly the point of the record, it grew on me and I found myself developing a love for each and every song in its own way. Each track brings out the strengths of a band that originally was pegged as a one hit wonder (a sentiment McCoy addresses in “Don’t Tell Me It’s Over”). While songs like “Kissin’ Ears” seem a bit overdone and too much like a Kanye track, the album makes up for it with tracks like (my personal favorite) “Blinded by the Sun” and the first single “Cookie Jar.”

This is one of those CDs that you can leave on to play in its entirety-a rarity in this day and age. You’ll often find yourself switching from outbursts of laughter to uttering “did he really just say that!?” often in the same song. The album is meant to be a fun and danceable album that showcases the band’s diverse musical capabilities. Fans of GCH are likely to be pleased with the band’s fourth release and those who haven’t heard of (or listened to) Gym Class Heroes are in for a pleasant surprise with this album.

The Quilt is available at all major record stores, as well as through iTunes.

Amy Julian can be reached at [email protected]