2020 might be the best year for punk, people are on the edge of insanity, and the world is getting more confusing every day. The Unfit channeled all this energy in their debut self-titled album The Unfit. The band originally formed in 2012, but band members Jake Knuth, Michael Lee, T.J. Johnson and Tyler Johnson, didn’t release an album. They describe their sound, “as a mix of 80s and 90s punk, grunge” with “indie rock influences, at times noisy and sludgy, at times reminiscent of hardcore punk.” All the ingredients for a good punk album. The Unfit is fast-paced, mixed with heavy beats and full of commentary.
The album starts with “Caged Rats and Hamster Wheels,” and the listener gets blasted away with classic punk rock guitars. It’s easy to say the band gives 100% because from the first note, the energy is so intense it is hard not to start moshing, even if it’s alone in the living room. “No Culture” was previously released with a wonderful sarcastic lyric video. The beats continue being hard and full of anger as they send their own message to a world that seems so out of place right now. “No Culture” could be one of the many anthems of 2020.
“I Don’t Get It” highlights the hardcore influence of The Unfit. It’s angry, honest and ‘in your face,’ just like punk is supposed to be—against the crowd, against the grain. “Spin It” highlights the vocals this time, and the rage consumes the speakers. The sound, this time, is in the background and reminiscent of ’90s grunge. Lyrics like “So you’re a Journalist/ Your headlines aren’t getting any hits/ Sometimes Truth is a bitch/ but there’s an easy fix/ Just spin it/ Take advantage of the world you’re living in” seem like a social commentary about the current state of journalism and the news, where many things are based on opinions rather than facts, and people rather believe a Facebook post than the actual news.
“Interest” is about the money and the greed that comes with it. The song is again fast-paced and features a great guitar solo. “The Living” features some spoken word that hits pretty deep, so the listener will get some hard self-realization here. The song has the potential to be one that people have to replay right after it ended, just because they zoned out the first time. “Picture” starts rather slow and cumbersome, but soon after the first few seconds, the shrill guitar shreds the sound apart. The song feels sad and confused, maybe that’s because of the repeating lyrics “I can’t remember,” which do sound very desperate and confused.
The next track “Righteous” takes the album back to full speed and is dripping of sarcasm like good old punk rock. “Progress,” coming in at a little over 4 minutes, is the longest song on the entire album. The track starts with a slow beat and a hypnotizing trotting rhythm before the guitars tear it apart in a solo. The lyrics about digging are well fit with this rhythm. In today’s society, it feels like there’s a pill for everything, feeling sad? Take a pill. Feel fat? Take a pill. This is the theme of the last track “Pills” and a great way to end an album that revolves around today’s society and people’s mental state.
The Unfit’s shows with their debut album that they have to take over the punk scene. It’s sarcastic yet honest and straight to the point at times, something that is the true spirit of the scene. The sound on The Unfit is always 100% there even during slower songs—never soft, never dull.