Shot Balowski are a three piece punk/rock band consisting of Simon Whittle – Guitar/Vocals, Tef Lovegrass – Drums and Debbie Ullrich – Bass. The band release their self titled debut album on 29th March, and all I can say it’s about time. As this band does something which I don’t think you can say many artists in the mainstream media today do. Which is write music about things that actually matter, such as the social issues, and not just writing about wanting to be famous for being famous sake.
Every song on the album has its merit to be on the record. Not just a case of three or four good songs and the rest is there for background noise. The songs which stick out for me on the album are Emily Does which is about suffragette Emily Wilding Davison. The lyrics on the record say Emily does what needs to be done, and some people in power would do worse than listen to these lyrics. Instead of the arsing about we see by these so called leaders.
Then there is Critique of Everyday Life which is about the people in charge and how they don’t really care as long as they are getting richer. As well as addressing the rise in foodbanks, zero hour contracts and how the media would like us to believe that poor people are all stupid slobs, incapable of knowing what is going on in the world.
One of my favourite songs on the album is Destroy The Daily Mail which features Patrick Jones. The song perfectly sums up the easy come, easy go attitude that seems to be 21st century life. People caring more about the Kardashians or whatever meaningless celebrity it is this week than the social issues that affect people in the UK. Like universal credit, food banks or the state of the NHS. People haven’t suddenly become heartless. It’s just some people appear to have the attention span of a goldfish in 2019 as we are constantly being fed bullshit that in the cold light of day doesn’t really matter. What this album does perfectly is articulates the social issues facing people on a daily basis around the country.
The album cover is very striking and makes anyone looking at it, want to know more about this album and band. What I like about the album apart from the music is the quotes which come with the booklet in the album.
The two quotes I which stick in my mind are “By definition, the writer cannot be in the service of those who makes history – he is at the service of those who suffer it.” Albert Camus
“If they are attacking me, they are leaving some other poor bugger alone.” – Andrea Dunbar – I really like this quote as it stands the test of time as it is just as relevant in today’s social media obsessed world where people feel they can say whatever they feel without any fear the consequences.
I have been really impressed with this album and I can certainly relate to what they are saying about people being left behind because of the system and ideas about certain people in society. If you buy one album this year, please buy this one. As in very uncertain times, this album speaks a lot of truth about the state of the world and I just wish there were more artists like this. Shot Balowski are a band I hope to hear more from in the future as well as see them live as they are a band we need in these uncertain times.
The band has gigs coming up in the UK on May 4th at The Source, Carlisle. An appearance at Kendal Calling Festival on July 26th and September 13th at Doll/Black Bull, Gateshead.
Shot Balowski is released March 29th and can be pre-ordered HERE
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