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Unfaithful - Streetfighter

by Tim Bolitho-Jones at 04 October 2014, 3:04 AM

Swedish four piece UNFAITHFUL are by all accounts fiercely opposed to bullying. The title track of their debut album revolves around the subject and they’ve also pledged to donate some of the proceeds of their album sales to an anti-bullying charity. This is very noble of course and it’s a worthy cause to support, it’s just unfortunate that their lyrical approach seems to miss the point entirely.

How so? Well, because if you were to take "Streetfighter" at face value, their solution to the problem seems to revolve around unleashing professional cage fighters on school children. It’s a song about how haters are gonna get knocked the fuck out and how the bell ain’t saving you this time, but it completely ignores the victims. Being on the receiving end of bullying can be a deeply traumatic experience, but there’s no mention at all of the loneliness, alienation or self-loathing victims suffer and the song focuses instead on the heroic, macho tough guy who swoops in and smashes the bully beneath his mighty conquering man-fists.

This is a song that should have been a triumphant homage to the downtrodden, a rousing and uplifting anthem about staying strong and surviving against impossible odds. Instead it’s unconvincing tough guy posturing and to such an extent that on the first few listens you might not even notice it’s about bullying at all.

Unfortunately this misguided approach translates to the rest of the album as well. These lads can certainly play and singer Marcus Karregard is an undeniably charismatic leader, but it’s hard to believe anything they come out with. "Vegas Baby" for example is a party song about tearing it up in Nevada, but it sounds like it’s been written by people who are basing it all on repeat screenings of The Hangover Trilogy.

They’ve got a few good songs in them, but while "The Kid" is an enjoyable catchy number, for the most part UNFAITHFUL don’t convince. Like FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH before them, they write songs about fighting and being an awesomely powerful, fist-swinging alpha male, but they don’t sound like they’ve actually swung a punch in their entire lives. They want you to believe they’ve grown up on the mean streets, but come across more like guys who grew up comfortably and spent too much time watching SONS OF ANARCHY before writing the album.

Worst of the bunch though is the closing "Unrestrained" The focus of this one is on how wild and unhinged their live shows get, but while they might have wanted to write a pit-inducing rabble rouser, that’s not what they’ve wound up with. Including the line “I want to see you all lose your fucking minds” as a melodic hook was a terrible mistake and for all their good intentions, UNFAITHFUL have accidentally written the audio equivalent of standing stock still, feeling a bit awkward and smiling politely while waiting for the headliners to come on. Avoid.

2 Star Rating

1. Vegas Baby
2. Streetfighter
3. Trendkiller
4. The Kid
5. Childhood Friend
6. Medicated For Your Protection
7. Busted
8. Flawless Life
9. Unrestrained
Marcus Karregard – Vocals
Sami Kela – Guitars
Robin Ingemansson – Bass
Jimi Lexe - Drums
Record Label: Mighty Music


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Edited 09 December 2022

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