Alright, I know my title was a bit “punny”, but if the Brooklyn lounge “Baby’s All Right” was an actual baby, then SLØTFACE served it the right bottle of warm, succulent milk/ music it needed to stop crying. The band, hailing from Norway, taught the audience how to Skål, or cheer, for songs that encouraged being the underdog or the outcast in life. With a persona garage grunge meets pop punk, SLØTFACE showed viewers the sweetness of having a bitter edge.
Shave My Head, Kill Em’ With Kindness, and Fever Art are just a few of the songs and titles that show SLØTFACE’s affinity for bittersweet. Their lyrics carry the chaotic weight of being young, eager, and burgeoning with an angst to be everything. The keyword being BE! For SLØTFACE, their words focus on the inner turmoils of wanting be all in a world that consistently tells you that you are nothing, from bad relationships (Shave My Head) to feeling like you are making bad, inept decisions (Sponge State). The idea of not feeling enough but feeling like that inner lack comes from a discouraging world is not new to “punk” as a genre but is rarely seen in “pop”. Thus, in blending the two musics, SLØTFACE gives punk a hint of sugar to the genre’s loud electric bass and drums are not accustomed to, while giving pop a taste of bitter its “happier perspectives” on life is not used to. The result is an animated sound and show that makes you feel like you have walked into a punk pop cartoon.
Josie and The Pussycats is one of my favorite cartoons of all time, and in many ways, SLØTFACE’s lead singer, Haley Shea, carries that vibrant mix of approachability/kick-butt sensibility that attracted so many people to this cult classic. Shea has an intoxicating energy that drives a mutual attraction and fear in the audience. This is not to say that you are terrified of her, but like the great Joan Jett, you feel like this young woman will defend you from the world if it crossed you, but would turn the world against you if you crossed her. She is a dynamite spirit that gives her vocals the fiery edge it needs to place charm on lyrics that promote resilience through mistakes. For SLØTFACE, you might need to get “drunk” sometimes to loosen up (Take Me Dancing) or you might need to hide out from the world before you to tell it to “buzz-off” (Empire Records). Whether you are confronting issues or making them, SLØTFACE promotes the humanity of being imperfect and the beauty of such faultiness, which is why they have such an invigorating, bittersweet sound.
For me, SLØTFACE has to be one of the best punk pop bands currently rising and playing live. I know, for sure, they will be an excellent choice in the upcoming summer/spring music festivals looking for rising, entertaining acts. Their energy soars through the stage and makes the idea of a mosh-pit sincerely welcomed. As each band member thrashes across the stage with their instruments, they brim with an energy that says, “JUST LIVE!”. Make mistakes and make amends, but, above all ,make yourself the “you” you wish to be. The message is moving in a world that, though proclaims perfection is impossible, certainly kills itself to achieve it. Thus, in their loud, “in your face” persona comes a tender, unifying message that is worth listening to in concert and record. Click Here For More Information On SLØTFACE .
Take Me Dancing