Sløtface - Try Not To Freak Out

by Nathan Fidler Rating:5 Release Date:2017-09-15

There are now plenty of female-fronted rock bands to pick from if you look hard enough. Thankfully we’re living in an age where these bands can express themselves without boiling their act down to the physical attributes of their lead singer, and with Haley Shea at the helm, Sløtface deliver their debut Try Not To Freak Out.

‘Magazine’ is their lead single and the first track of the album, and provides a look at the pressures that media puts on women. It’s more fun to listen to than that though, kicking off with a pop-punk riff, woo-hoos and some off-kilter, bouncy bass. “Thunder thighs is reaching for the measuring tape” shows that Shea isn’t afraid to be brazenly honest about body image and her personal thoughts.

As much sniping and feminine insight this album gives, the band never really lands on a sound. Swinging between the forceful pop-punk of ‘Pitted’ and ‘Try’ and the more twee-indie sound on ‘Galaxies’ and ‘Slumber’, it’s jarring and difficult to listen to as a full album.

When they’re at their meanest on ‘Nancy Drew’ they’re also at their best. The menacing scruff of guitars, thumping drums and chorus of “watch out she’s a nightmare, Nancy Drew” is a clever combination, making you want to listen on repeat.

Elsewhere, however, the themes of the songs fall apart and Shea can’t seem to keep up with the shifting genres she’s aiming for. When she leans back into herself for a punkier effect, it comes across as too weak, while her voice is just slightly too cutting to play coy. It’s not just the vocals though, as touched on before, the band as a whole seem to be playing for differing genres, with frenetic drums more akin to the indie scene, loose guitars and basslines from noughties pop-punk.

Overall, the songs lack the character which Shea’s lyrics undoubtedly have in spades. It’s a shame that the songs lack the shape and definition in the vocals which ‘Nancy Drew’ has, because rock from an honest female perspective is something the world of music has lacked for too long.

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