Review: Shitty Life – Switch Off Your Head (Spastic Fantastic, Sep 28)

Sometimes we just need hooks, even in the genres we typically don’t think of as being defined by their catchiness. I went into Italian quintet Shitty Life’s new LP Switch Off Your Head expecting some pretty straightforward fastcore, but instead I got a bouncing dose of “power punk.” With mostly clean power chord garage riffs, some amazingly recorded drums, and raucous, pissed-off vocals, Shitty Life does nothing new in the absolute best way possible. This is what I want when I think of the phrase “pop punk”; just really infectious, well-written punk earworms that even non-hardcore fans will love, and that wouldn’t sound out of place if they came on at a party. But the pop sensibilities don’t prevent the band from baring their aggression; for pretty much the whole album you get the sense that these tightly wound tunes are about to burst at the seams, a vicious explosion of aggression struggling against its candy coating. Switch Off Your Head is a simple album, but can serve a variety of purposes: afternoon pick-me-up, skate session soundtrack, friendly fist fight music; everything except calming down in any shape or form.

Buy the LP here.