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Music Review

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The Unfit


Artist: The Unfit
Label: Share It Music
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 05 June 2020

Share It Music releases the self-titled debut album from Punk/Grunge/Indie band The Unfit, from Seattle in the U.S.A. They incorporate high school friends Jake Knuth, Michael Lee, T.J. Johnson, and Tyler Johnson. The combo is described as “… an unrelenting exercise in catharsis formed out of the band’s need for a sort of musical therapy in the current times.” They experiment with themes of ‘finding meaning’, ‘belonging’ and ‘honesty’ in a world where it’s increasing difficult to cope without them. How do we avoid running with the wolves? Two singles were lifted from the album for prior release: opener 'Caged Rats and Hamster Wheels', and 'Picture', a song about taking things for granted – particularly our memories.

We kick-off with the single 'Caged Rats and Hamster Wheels'. It’s a riff-driven chug-along Pop Punk song, the vocals of which anchor it more to Punk. Even the few notes of a guitar solo that doesn’t really get started, consists of off-key sounds. 'No Culture' has a drum beat and bass line which introduces an overdriven guitar repeated chord sequence. This tip-toes between Punk, Noise, and Grunge. This would have made a better single than the opener. 'I Don’t Get It' incorporates "railing against the world" vocals that lead this drumbeat-controlled simple but energetic piece. Bass and drums are the foundation for 'Spin It', the guitar making weird off-key shrieks while the vocals are a little more refined.

Back to a faster tempo again with 'Interest', which has a nice chase structure. However, all of the vocals on this album are sung in the same flat tones. There is a nice short instrumental in the middle though. 'The Living' has a low rumbling bass with siren-sounding guitar, and spoken vocals which then turn to shrieks. This works quite well and displays the first degree of variation in how the songs are sung. 'Picture' is another single lifted from the album. It probably has the best full-band melodic stance of the bunch thus far. I like the guitar pitches which sound psychedelic. Because this has more of a moderate pace, the vocals are unrushed, creating a nice combination of genres.

We’re back to more traditional Punk fair with 'Righteous'. Even the guitar feedback is left in. The words are well-used in this one. 'Progress' has gut-vibrating ultra-low bass for this moderate-paced grunge piece. This is without doubt the most diverse sound of the collection, which for me makes it the stand-out track. Imagine a heavy and raw version of Spandau Ballet’s 'Work Till You’re Musclebound'. 'Pills' brings us to a close with another off-key Pop-Punk song.

This is an enjoyable bunch of no-nonsense, get-in-and-get-out-quick set-pieces. It’s a solid enough debut album for this genre, but the problem is the sound and structure is the same for the majority of the songs. I wouldn’t call The Unfit one-trick ponies; it’s more a case of knowing the format inside-out by the first three tracks. Ironically, I possibly wouldn’t have got that impression had they started with 'Picture', 'Progress', and 'The Living' – so the balance of songs on the album could be looked at for subsequent releases.


Ty Power

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