Audio Mixer: Mike Kumagai.
Photographer: Brandon Turner.
While their impact seemed minimal on the world at large, crunkcore scene band Brokencyde were welcomed with hate and disgust whenever they crossed into the mainstream world, as if they represented everything awful about this weird strain of teen rebellion music that was mall-endorsed, chain store-ready, and made available to download wherever black jackboots and pink nail polish were sold together in gift packs (free strawberry-flavored lip balm with skull pattern on the tube added as a bonus). Their mix of Katy Perry music, hip-hop beats, and screamy emo (like, throat-ruining, scream of death, screamy emo) just seemed gimmicky and trite to any Dylan, Costello, Jay-Z, the Roots, or Decemberists worshiper who encountered it, and while these garish blasts of hate, sex, swagger, suicide, and sweet shoes just seem ridiculous, the living-in-the-moment junior-high set rarely know what's good for them, but they're great at grabbing attention. Here, Brokencyde present their best attention-grabs, or "17 crunkcore classics" as the cover says, dating all the way back to four years previous. Empty-headed and agitated numbers like "Scene Girlz," "40 Oz," and "Teach Me How to Scream" offer the dancefloor electro rush before "Why don't you love me/I should just kill myself"-styled screamy breakdowns rock the house like Mom wouldn't give up the car for tonight, which totally sucks, because Dahlia's parents are gone, she's having a party, and everyone is going to be there. Bad news is, everyone is going to be there with "Sex Toyz" and "Hofosho" too, and even Bay Area slang king E-40 sounds a bit uncomfortable in these surroundings, because gun talk and gangster walks are one thing, while underage drinking and "Freaxxx" that still try out for cheer squad are something completely different. The laws Brokencyde want to break aren't the laws the punkers of past wanted to topple, and even if parents just don't understand, they should be aware that it's hard to write off Brokencyde as "harmless." Still, this is their best, according to them and their gum-snapping, go-hard fans, so consider it an artifact if you're curious, or a sure sign of trouble if you're a counselor. ~ David Jeffries