Release Date: Sep 15, 2017
Record label: Propeller Records
Genre(s): Alternative, Pop/Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
Hailing from the Norwegian city of Stavanger, Sløtface have been musical co-conspirators since vocalist Haley Shea skived her high school prom to make a guest appearance in her now-bandmates’ heavy metal outfit. In other words, they’re the kind of band that know each other’s drinks orders and condiment preferences by heart, with the strain of rabble-mentality musical chemistry that comes along once in a blue moon. It seeps out of every second of ‘Try Not To Freak Out’, too.
Last year a number of super polished pop vocals broke out from often overlooked Norway. Amongst these pristine offerings, Haley Shea’s voice pierced the landscape and introduced the scuzzy sounds of Sløtface (fka Slutface). Their faultless debut EP Sponge State was a four track collection of nervous romance, name-dropping rock legends and paying homage to early 90s grunge.
There’s plenty of reasons to be a bit jittery in 2017. Trump’s teetering on the edge of nuclear catastrophe, and on these shores, Brexit is well in the shitter. It’s no surprise then that Norwegian pop-punk revivalists Sløtface have christened their debut album ‘Try Not To Freak Out’ – an ode to keeping the party going through the chaos and calling the shots as they see them. Take album opener ‘Magazine’ which challenges the media’s portrayal of female bodies in a blistering opener – and giving birth to their already quotable lyric, ‘Patti Smith would never put up with this shit’.
Try Not To Freak Out—the debut full-length from Norwegian pop-punk band Sløtface—has been a long time in the making. Although the group’s first release dates back to 2013, they became a hot topic of online chatter last year when they announced they were changing their name from “Slutface”—a seemingly fabricated controversy that ended up being a PR grand slam. “We have in no way changed our political and feminist message,” the group said in a statement.
Sløtface (pronounced Slutface, and spelt that way until censorship provoked a re-think) bring a classic pop-punk sound with explosively direct lyrics. The Norwegian four-piece manage to be both a throwback and something refreshingly forward looking as a result. Led by Haley Shea, they get off to a triumphant start on "Magazine," nailing feminist colors to the mast early.
H aving attracted notoriety, and then fallen foul of social media safeguards, the band formerly known as Slutface reconfigured their name last year. Their sense of mischief remains intact, however. The Norwegian pop-punk outfit come out fighting on the nagging Magazine, a cheerful diatribe against the objectification of women: .
During its revival at the turn of the millennium through to the late noughties, you couldn’t turn on the TV or radio without being swamped by the likes of Sum 41, Blink-182 and Avril Lavigne. It was cool to grow a diagonal fringe across your spotty forehead, throw your guitar around at band practice without a care for shattering your nearby singer’s braced-teeth, and poster every inch of your bedroom wall with pictures of moody, half-naked fellas. But like most genres, it was overplayed and became a dying cause. Fans eventually grew up and left school realising that the music they listened to and the idols they worshipped were not growing up and moving on with them.
Norway isn’t the first place that comes to mind when thinking of sun-kissed pop-punk, but that’s exactly where Sløtface hail from. Forming in 2012 after discovering a shared love of British ‘00s indie bands, the four-piece have gone from strength to strength over the course of a liberal smattering of singles and EPs, making a name for themselves as much for their outspoken feminism and liberal attitude as their upbeat indie-pop-punk. ‘Try Not to Freak Out’, the band’s debut LP, as one might expect, is littered liberally with references to feminism and gender equality, but is also hinged on twenty-something anxieties experienced universally.