Gym Class Heroes

As Cruel as Schoolchildren

On As Cruel as Schoolchildren, New York rap band Gym Class Heroes uproot hip-hop traditions with rock music, good-time pop grooves, and whatever sound suits their fancy. Unlike fellow iconoclasts Atmosphere and Fort Minor, however, this horndog quartet eschews self-analysis and sociocultural rhymes. In the words of rapper and frontman Travis McCoy, "We put the FU back in fun." There's no time for chastity; most of Gym Class Heroes' songs, in true pop-punk tradition, concern girls and sex. "You caught me at the most pivotal moment/So now I'm e-mailing my love with a dozen digital roses," raps McCoy on "New Friend Request," a song about picking up chicks on MySpace. Elsewhere, he harmonizes like Slim Kid Tre on "Viva La White Girl," and rhymes a cappella on "Sloppy Love Jingle Pts. 1-3." His verbal gymnastics are mildly entertaining and as flimsy as a pair of Converse sneakers. 2 stars