This instrumental duo from London are signed to Durham based label Sapien Records (also home to one of my all time fave bands We Are Knuckle Dragger). They came highly recommended to me by a trusted source and of course the name Shitwife grabbed my attention! Who am I to argue, let’s give this album a whirl.

Shitwife - big lad album review

Atari Teenage Riot, Apex Twin, Tooms and Venetian Snares comparisons are to be expected, and maybe some mid period Prodigy here and there. Think of Warm Digits if they were more out there. As a result, it has quite a crossover feel and will appeal to fans of different genres. I for one don’t normally go for this type of stuff but it is bloody brilliant and quite individual sounding. I must admit I am impressed!

The album kicks off it’s relentless energy with the appropriately named ‘High Octane Party Banger’, which is also the first single from Big Lad. The duo setup stall with a good hard kick in the head for the listener.

First thing I notice, and truly adore is the percussion, it is phenomenal. Lovely organic drum sounds. That is what sets them apart from counterparts, for me personally nothing beats the sound of real drums.

‘Clammy Little Hands’ slows things down a notch with an 8-bit Gameboy simple theme.

‘Die Hard 4 Point 0’ has a stabbing one note riff which feels like a Will Haven track, but then meanders into a slow paced jazz like groove. Certainly a highlight of the record.

At nine songs long it feels about right; not too long and not too short. Any longer and I think the listener would begin to lose interest. A short, sharp, punk-rock style delivery.

Their sound conjures up visions of an industrial Blade Runner landscape in my mind. Just close your eyes and go with it.

‘More Goose Than Maverick’ signs off the album in style like some crazy car chase movie scene soundtrack.

I often hear bands and think to myself that John Peel would love these. Which is sad in a way, as no one has or likely ever will come close to his level of commitment and willingness to give bands such as this the airtime. Anyway I digress…

You have to be in the right mood for this type of music, but when you are it is amazing. I tried using it as a wake up call after a long shift and little sleep. It worked I must say! Play it loud. An utterly intense experience.

Fascinating sounds. Though I think, perhaps it would benefit from a bit more bass in the mix.


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