Ten 8-balls of liberal shit-punk
Jessie Atkinson
16:53 16th November 2021

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Albums under thirty minutes long should get an award for brevity anyway, but Joe & The Shitboys’ new album—the ten-minute thirty-second The Reson For Hardcore Vibes Again—deserves ample attention beyond only its precision.

Clearly, the oddball Faroese quartet are operating under the assumption that if something isn’t broken then you needn’t fix it. They would be, as they so often are, right. The Reson For Hardcore Vibes Again recycles a title (last year’s debut was titled The Reason For Hardcore Vibes), a run-time (they differ by only six seconds) and a cover (with the latter now boasting a fetching Bisexual Pride flag). What Joe & The Shitboys don’t do is repeat songs...okay, only once (on the title track).

Here, the band visit upon new issues and ideas, combining humour and impeccable politics in a heady shit-punk combo that, all told, fits on a 7” disc. In a remarkably short run, Joe & The Shitboys (Ziggy Shit, Johnny Shit and Sammy Shit, in case you’re wondering) manage to do three things: make you laugh, make you think, and make you want to stand up and pogo about. Ten 8-balls of liberal shit-punk live here, continuing the blueprint of their debut—and quite ingeniously mimicking the band’s infamous live shows.

Kicking off with ‘Personal Space Invader’, Joe & co. immediately get down to work by serving intense hi-hats, growling guitars, a pregnant pause and a simple message: “I don’t like your fucking face/get out my fucking space”. More a gloriously indelicate introduction to their brand of punk than a political truth bomb, the Shitboys soon enter the latter realm on ‘Pull the Trigger’, which makes fun of online trolls and contrarian men-children. They revisit the theme of sarcasm on ‘The Good Ol’ Days’ (“I miss the good ol’ days…blackened lungs, we never saw the sun” ) and contrarian men-children on ‘Manspredator’, which deals with manspreaders on public transport through the medium of a purring baseline.

‘Closeted HomoFobe’ and ‘Save The Planet, You Dumb Shit’ deal in subjects that are obvious from their titles and the thirteen-second 'Rock And Roll (We Stole That Shit)' even manages to turn the searchlight on the band themselves, referring to the Black origins of the genre they now make money from. 

Perhaps the most magnetic thing about Joe & The Shitboys is that they return punk to its reactionary, political origins. Not only that, but this band never give the impression that they are pandering by doing so. The Reson For Hardcore Vibes Again is a funny, pertinent and well-executed example of punk—and musical—originality.

The Reson For Hardcore Vibes Again is out now.

Grab your copy of the Gigwise print magazine here.

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