Shitty Friends - Demo [Cassette] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Shitty Friends

Shitty Friends: Demo [Cassette]

Demo [Cassette] (2014)

Self-released


3.5
Much like Career Suicide and Night Birds, Shitty Friends play hard, fast, raw hardcore punk influenced by the founders. But, just like those aforementioned bands, Shitty Friends sidestep mere approximation, and instead, using the same fire as say, The Circle Jerks or the Germs, and create something ...

Much like Career Suicide and Night Birds, Shitty Friends play hard, fast, raw hardcore punk influenced by the founders. But, just like those aforementioned bands, Shitty Friends sidestep mere approximation, and instead, using the same fire as say, The Circle Jerks or the Germs, and create something that's more organic and unique, as opposed to being a mere tribute.

As with the early 80's LA groups, Shitty Friends revel in self—destruction as much as they are abhorred by it on their debut demo tape. The fact is, even though nihilism might actually be pretty nasty in real life, on record it conjures up the same creepily—exciting feelings as horror movies. "I don't care" (which is likely a wink towards Black Flag/Circle Jerks, but is not a cover) finds the band unhinged and railing against pretty much everything, all to the soundtrack of a combusting, early Ginn—like riff. Like those early Black Flag recordings, the band likes to drop snippets of intraband arguments between their tracks.

But, where this could have become mere pandering, the band elevates it to something exciting. First, it helps that these songs are fast, short, and really good. The songs are compact and berserk, but fundamentally, are excellent compositions. So, when songs that are good get sped up, they become wilder, but retain their core character. Second, the band might echo the combination of "Good times" and darkness found in those early LA recordings, they're not just doing that. Rather, the band, like so few bands these days— Pissed Jeans comes to mind— play the part of mean, nasty, selfish characters and set it to a rocking backdrop. Really, as opposed to the near constant sloganeering and moralizing heard in so much modern punk rock, the band creates more complex, nuanced, and generally interesting statements in 79 seconds and two chords than most modern bands do in four minutes.

A very exciting new band.