Hit the Switch - Domestic Tranquility and Social Justice (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Hit the Switch

Domestic Tranquility and Social Justice (2006)


Industry buzz terms are always altered to sell you a product. "For fans of..." generally means "you tend to listen to the same repetitive shit." "Currently on tour with..." can be translated to "Hey, we were able to book these guys with someone you actually want to see". Okay, that last one was a little harsh, but why don't we see more honesty, like "potential?" I'd like you to keep that term in mind as I try to explain what's on my mind.

Hit the Switch is a young band, and prior to listening to this album, I didn't know much about them. So I sat down tonight to listen with an open mind and make a conclusion on my own, without any industry or internet hype.

Let me start by saying Hit the Switch have the potential to be huge. They have the technical ability, and the passion and desire seems evident in their music, but something just isn't clicking. I'm gonna try to figure it out here, so work with me.

First of all, the band's influences are very clear, which doesn't cause me to immediately discredit it. I mean after all, this is punk music...originality is few and far between. But that's how I like it. The problem is there is too much shit going on here. One minute I'm hearing something reminding me of Anti-Flag, then it busts into a breakdown that mixes in a very heavy Thrice sound (see "March of Dissent"). This trend continues throughout the album, good songs interrupted by unnecessary breakdowns and gang vocals. And what bothers me the most? I get extremely annoyed when a potentially good band has their sound compromised by an monotonous drummer, especially when the rest of the band is varying their individual sounds. I give him credit, he isn't fucking up, it's just for this style of music, the overall sound could be far better complimented by varying beats.

Domestic Tranquility and Social Justice certainly has its positive moments though. "Imperial Horizon" might just highlight the potential these guys are trying to showcase. It's the one track -- and I've posted a link to it below, conveniently -- the entire band sounds equally paced on, and though influences are present, they are subtle, allowing a less re-produced sound.

Unfortunately, the flow, or lack thereof, doesn't allow the listener to maintain a grasp on what is attempted. I guess the point I'm trying to make is that this album sounds exactly like what it is: a demo. The self-production only displays this further. Maybe it's unfair to judge based on the fact that a heavyweight like Nitro released it. I'd just like to hope they get the direction and guidance needed to create the album within their capabilities. All the raw material is present, they just need to figure out how to put it all together.

Imperial Horizon

If this is domestic tranquility...
...I guess this is social justice?