Album Review: Shitty Weekend – “Shit Week”

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The folky hardcore of Portland’s Shitty Weekend is as ramped up and deranged as an amphetamine addicted libertine’s fuck-fest travelogue. It’s messy in all the best ways– loud and unhinged with enough melodic dalliances to make their brand of loud and unhinged unique. The horns blare out bounce and brass, and the guitars shriek through gritted teeth and static distortion; its a circus where every show starts as a firebreathing spectacle and ends in a ball of flames. Shit Week is an explosive, tent burning treat fueled by the ravenous, wide-eyed dereliction of a quartet of enthusiastic artists.

The sprinting opener, “Employee,” is filled with shrieking vocals and rushed melodies, it’s these kinds of tunes that show Shitty Weekend at their best– on the edge of hoarseness, charging forward so fast you’re afraid they’ll trip on their own feet. The next song, “Lord,” is a mid-tempo track that resides a little too neatly in Taxpayers’ territory. This can be attributed to, and perhaps even forgiven as Shitty Weekend is made up of members of both the Taxpayers and Transient, but it still stands that Shit Week as a whole fares better when the band is decidedly not-the-Taxpayers. While most of the other songs are able to break free of that long shadow, the tracks that don’t raise queries as to the necessity of this side project.

“Crabcake” is one of my favorite songs on Shit Week, its chords gallop and lyrics pound through imagery and melody with enough abandon to remind you that this band can slam out some serious bangers when it wants to. The song itself is about the punk scene, DIY shows, and cops, maaan. While I admit, I’m a bit of a jaded listener, I’m still a fucking sucker for stuff like this. “Smoke Weed” follows in this same vein opening with the lyric: “This is a song about rebellion!” and ending with “I bet you’ve never read Steven Blush’s ‘American Hardcore.’” It just goes to show that punk rock remains the best vehicle to comment on itself and for those who are as into navel gazing as I am, these tracks will probably be your favorite.

There’s a brief interlude in “Nothing Lasts Forever,” which is nothing more than a vocal melody of oh’s against a backdrop of galloping horses, sneezes, and the occasional whip crack. It’s cute, in a “Gunsmoke” kind of way, and while nothing to revisit, it does add a level of cohesiveness to the album. Shitty Weekend is a wild band, built on shit-eating sneers and Black Flag worship, but thankfully, they’re anything but self serious.

Shit Week is pure, unbridled energy– it expands and combust, spilling out of the song structure like some kind of sonic napalm. Its a throwback that doesn’t need to be called a throwback to be appreciated, harnessing the spirit of fun and youth that punk rock has always had in its heart and unleashing it through the lens of a new generation with new aesthetic values. I love seeing punk rock embody new attitudes, and I think its safe to say we’re seeing defiant music becoming defiantly musical. Bold songwriters, like Shitty Weekend, are exploring the heart of punk rock without getting too bogged down in the dogma of its expectations. Each generation rebuilds the past in their own image, and in this case, I’m excited to see construction under way.

4/5 Stars


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  1. 4/8/2014 11:26 PM | Permalink

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