Here’s an easy way to get me to notice your band (coincidentally, it’s also a good way to score a hit single): make a catchy single that references yet another catchy single. It’s how I became acquainted with the rock/rap group Gym Class Heroes. Their first hit single, “Cupid’s Chokehold”, not only sampled Supertramp’s “Breakfast in America”, but featured the recognizable voice of Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump. They followed it up by repeating the exact same formula: “Clothes Off!!” also boasted a chorus by stump and a large chunk of Jermaine Stewart’s “We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off”. As opposed to outright samples, these new songs were built on the choruses of those moldy oldies, and the gambit worked-at least for me. I found myself in possession of GCH’sÂ breakthrough albumÂ As Cruel as School Children, and actually found it enjoyable in a mindless fun sort of way.
Fast-forward a year and a half later. GCH lead singer Travis McCoy is something of a star, the band boasts a Gold album, and they’re back with their follow up, The Quilt. This album has a much more pronounced hip-hop influence than its’ predecessor, with guest appearances from the likes of Busta Rhymes and production from beatsmiths Cool & Dre. Nevertheless, McCoy has more charm and variation in subject matter than the average commercial emcee, so it’s not what you would consider the typical hip-hop album in 2008. It also boasts more than its’ share of influences from other genres-featuring bits of emo-ish rock, ska, and plain old pop.