Album Review: Sløtface – Try Not To Freak Out

Norweigan alternative punk/rock quartet Sløtface are finally at the stage to release their highly anticipated debut album ‘Try Not To Freak Out’ tomorrow (Friday 15th) via Propeller Records which includes singles Magazine, Pitted and Nancy Drew.

Since forming in 2012, vocalist Haley Shea and guitarist Tor-Arne Vikingstad began writing songs together before being joined by drummer Halvard Skeie Wiencke and bassist Lasse Lokøy. After releasing their debut single ‘Angst’, the band signed to Propeller Record who have nurtured the band into a hit sensation.

Try Not To Freak Out kicks off with ‘Magazine’ – their first release of 2017 – WIth flaming guitar riffs over a fluid bass line, topped with the playful vocals, Shea attempts to “write a killer breakup song”. But without any real experiences there’s not a better back up plan than to talk about the “unrealistic representations of human bodies in media”. Especially in magazines where they most likely use photoshop to make look a lot better.

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Night Guilt and Try Not To Freak Out examine vulnerability, from the loneliness of feeling worlds apart from another capturing its debilitating physical effects in a fashion that recalls Fiona Apple’s unflinching gaze. They are the somber punk tracks off the album alongside meaningful lyrics trying to get people to think more about what’s happening in the world. Whereas ‘Pitted’ is a ferocious, spirited introvert’s anthem about not wanting to go out, but having the greatest night when you do.

Spiced up with some crazy jazz horns (from Norwegian jazz musician Simen Kiil Halvorsen) and perky guitars but vocalist doesn’t want to go out. “those nights when I’d rather stay home but I make it out the door,” then next thing you know she’s dancing to Queen B (Beyonce) and playing “Marry Fuck Kill with every actor that’s ever played James Bond.” Their punk-infused rock songs are similar to Honeybloods; delicious guitar rock and jarring melodies with soft Black Honey vocals they sound invincible just like your usual superhero.

On “Galaxies”, “Slumber” and “Backyard Adventures”, Sløtface commune with the teen selves they’re leaving behind to live life as a touring band. “I know that I’ll never have friends like these again,” Haley laments on ‘Slumber’. Ever the movie buffs, Sløtface describe these songs as the credits rolling on their teenage years. Classic teen movies tend to produce pretty ropey sequels. But something says that Sløtface’s thrilling next chapter will be the definitive exception to the rule.

Sløtface have produced a debut album that will stick in the listener’s head. It’s everything our generation did as a child – a buoyant celebration of everything it means to be young. And it’s bloody good.

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