Curiously campy and scathing la-la content
So, Shitkid has reached a new milestone in their music with the release of their first original motion-picture full-length soundtrack LP, for the film of the same name, Always Amber. The recalcitrant Swedish femme post-punk duo comprised of the illustrious mastermind, Åsa Söderqvist, and latter-day neophyte bassist, Lina Ericsson, are back again to scream their heads off, sweetly sing and put it all together with campy blech. This time, it’s for the silver screen, baby.
From the outset, the eponymous first track perfectly opens the project. It commences with a defiant quasi-struggling guitar warm-up riff that sounds contrived by an extremely nascent guitar player, oversimplified and really anti-pretentious that segues into loud, brash and scuzzy power chords with carelessly truculent singing. It sounds like the consciousness of the archetypal l’enfant terrible. Within the first 80 seconds of the album, exactly the length of the first track, it really gives something for the punks and brats to side with and instantly transmits their spirit.
Yet, strangely enough, they keep the subversive aspect subtle throughout the rest of the tracklist. They dampen it. In track III, “Poobrain,” obviously other than the title, it’s quite palpable, but through their own way – the scratchy overly-bass-boosted crackled synth major chords accompanied by pretty, melodic singing. Even track V, “Never Seen a Girl,” is also quite substantive and catchy but through a whiny double-dubbed singing with lyrics like “baby are you out of your mind?/ never seen a girl like me…” and “my mother would’ve wished you dead, he said to me.” It’s all very positively defiant and has a cute childlike obstinacy to it. Like, in track VI, “Olivera,” there’s unabashed hand-slip mistakes and wrong notes which gives it a DIY sort of sincerity, seconding that childlike quality.
And although the high-velocity blur of the abrasive first track, it slows down, a lot, like, to the pace of a stoned snail in tracks like “Tu Disparu” and “Sebbe,” but while still retaining the intrinsic murky sound even through nostalgic bass lines and ambient synth. Shitkid proves that you can make something slow and rebellious. Always Amber even slows to a mindless catatonia in “Olivera,” which is the unicorn track on the whole thing, where the instruments are all divorced and do not synchronize whatsoever or even have consistent musical accuracy until they all blend into an entirely new song out of the scraps that ventured into the track, to begin with. It’s seriously like the destruction of a song, then the resurrection of it and all the liminal space in between. Gold star for that.
All in all, the curtly packaged 23-minute long album will leave you teary-eyed and lock-jawed. Let Shitkid hold your hand through an obliquely cheery and somewhat endearingly irreverent soundscape to the much-needed sojourn from the bleakly virulent state of life. And, you’ll walk outta this, or rather, come back to reality reset with jubilance and knowing that Shitkid is not shit, kid.