The seemingly out-of-nowhere appearance of the young Kendall duo I Set My Friends on Fire has been recounted in these pages several times in recent months. But just to recap: Teenagers Matt Mihana and Nabil Moo, formerly of a more by-the-numbers post-hardcore band, wanted to form a new project. They thought it would be funny to do a cover of Soulja Boy's "Crank Dat," with Mihana screaming the vocals and Moo tweaking the beat on his computers and drum machine. It became a major, near-instant hit on the group's MySpace page, garnering some million-plus plays to date.
More important now, though, is what has happened since those heady days of summer 2007. On the strength of that cover, plus a few other original tracks, punk god Brett Gurewitz signed the act to a deal with his Epitaph Records. The fruit of that contract, the band's debut album, You Can't Spell Slaughter Without Laughter, was released this past October. Its sometimes-scattered mix of screaming, gurgling vocals and skittering electronics has met with mixed reactions from critics. Not that those reviews have deterred the pair's many, many young fans, who continue to leave loving Internet comments for Mihana and Moo by the minute, and who have packed shows nationwide on the band's first national tour. Can more than 101,000 MySpace friends be wrong?