Hit the Switch - Observing Infinities (Cover Artwork)

Hit the Switch

Observing Infinities (2009)


Chino, California's Hit the Switch sounds a fuck of a lot like NOFX. But let me qualify that compliment. They don't sound like NOFX in every way imaginable. Oh no. They sound like a very specific flavor of NOFX. To specify a particular album they sound like, see Pump Up the Valuum. To specify particular songs they sound like from that album, see "Take Two Placebos and Call Ma Lame," "Clams Have Feelings Too" and "Stranger Than Fishin'."

What I'm trying to say is that they sound like NOFX, but only when NOFX blends their trademark pop-punk with hard skatepunk. The result is that Observing Infinities has the following qualities when compared to NOFX:

  1. replace Fat Mike's snotty vocals with Matt Hawks' abrasive and snotty vocals,
  2. minus NOFX's leading basslines and replace with melodic guitar solos,
  3. no super pop, power-pop, dub, reggae, or joke songs,
  4. no word plays in the lyrics,
  5. throw in some The Illusion of Safety-era Thrice technical breakdowns and solos, and
  6. throw in some Exile in Oblivion-era Strung out guitar work as well.
What I'm getting at is that NOFX has pushed their sound in the direction of almost every major genre surrounding punk, i.e. ska, dub, hardcore, power-pop, etc. On the other hand, Hit the Switch plays this one type of punk rock and nothing else. Not that playing just one type is a bad thing. It's just what they do and how they do it. And what they do, they do it well.

With 12 songs clocking in at 31 minutes and 21 seconds, Observing Infinities hits the listener with just the right amount of punk rock without feeling drawn out or saturated by filler. The first song, "Ancient Sunlight" starts off with what sounds like a lullaby before quickly exploding into exactly the type of sound I described…skate rock with abrasive vocals covered by dual guitars mixing both melodic and faster leads.

The result can be pretty overwhelming at times, but that's a good thing here, as Observing Infinities is a polished and professional effort. Compared to the band's last release from 2006, this album is a huge step up.

If the trend continues, expect Hit the Switch to continue to improve. Observing Infinities becomes more and more listenable over time. But please don't misconstrue my excessive comparisons to NOFX. I don't think the band should change their sound or broaden their musical horizons. Not at all. They sound fine how they are and I can't wait for their next release. If this album is any indication of what Hit the Switch is capable of, I think it's a safe bet that this band is ready to fill their niche in the punk world.