I'm So Pretty & I'm So Dead.

I think I love Schoolyard Heroes more than I love Halls Mentho-Lyptus Throat Lozenges, which if you know me, then you know that means that I love Schoolyard Heroes more than life itself.

There's a new album peeking out over the horizon next month bringing forth unrivaled anticipation. I mean, I haven't been this aroused for fresh meat since that aborted trip to the Outback in San Jose last year.

It's kinda hard to concentrate on the task at hand when I'm listening to Van Halen cover Oh Pretty Woman.

Really, the best way I can describe their music is if I have you imagine a master sushi chef with razor sharp blades flying this way and that ... only, instead of raw fish, he's making Dead Baby Rolls. Squealing, pleading, mushy on the outside/delicious on the inside Dead Baby Rolls. And then hurling them at you from twenty feet away with pinpoint major league accuracy right against your forehead - you know that area you've permanently damaged from years and years of formative prepubescent headbanging? Right there.

Not that I'm putting any pressure on them or anything, but out of the two albums I own, of the 24 songs of theirs I've heard (including the two new ones on their MySpace page), I've yet to come across a single track that wasn't inherently necessary to the cause of permanently inserting a spike-toed boot - with the force of some 24 horses - squarely up into my ass, not to mention all other asses affected from the radiation of their fallout. These albums are the tightest, most hard-rocking affairs I've ever come across. But, more than that, they're not coming at you with the same charging three-chord riffing you'd expect from other hardcore acts of today and yesteryear. Instead of residing as a test of one's endurance, you can't help looking forward to the next song on the album while your eyes are filling with blood thanks to the current cacophony blitzkrieging your eardrums.

I think I'm finally over the fact that they're not As Big As They Should Be. It's kinda the reason why only four million and change watched Arrested Development, likewise it's why bands like The Flaming Lips and LCD Soundsystem are infinitely more popular abroad than they are in the States. These assholes simply don't realize what it is they're missing while they're latching on to the next Fall Out Boy single. After Abominations comes out on September 18th, that'll make three full-length bodies of work for me to appreciate. I could begin to tell you the numerous bands who never breached three albums and still made a lasting impact on my musical listening influence, but you'd be bored to tears and I'd have to do actual research.

But, let me say this: you know just about everything a band has to offer after they put out their third album. They could be one of those flashes in the pan like the Strokes, whose hype steadily outweighed their collective talent, proven by the decline in quality over their brief run. They could be just getting started like Radiohead, who've managed to only get better since OK Computer. Or, they could be the Led Zeppelin of this generation and genre - flat out amazing output from start to finish over one gargantuan decade of cocking out.

I'd bet on the third option, but the point is, we're here. Three albums in. They could go on for another twenty years doing what they do and I'll be right there lapping up every drop or they could fold here and now, opting to switch gears with half making up a Barbershop Singing Troupe and the other half making Fusion Jazz for a Muppet-filled kiddie show. It won't change the fact that - at least for me - they've made an irreversible dent in this shallow and cutthroat music business in an era where there's one collosal letdown after another