Review – “i just wanna” – SWITCHES

reviewed by Laura Stanley a1488601018_2

In their dynamic garage rock/punk style Edmonton’s SWITCHES are an untamed gift. i just wanna is a record charged with enough energy to throw you from your seat and, with the leftover gusto, drag you off the floor and up performing your signature dancing/rocking out maneuvers. The band is fun, cheeky, and have packed their record with enough pop hooks and sing-a-long moments that will make you move fast to hit the replay button.

Sometimes delivered in a growl and other times in a playful scream, the vocals from lead singer Tara McMahon, often accompanied with drummer’s Tamar Diner, drives the record. Complete with Caity Fisher on bass and Stefan Opryshko on keys, the duo’s vocals makes the clever lyrics shine a little brighter. They ooze through a cigarette smoke and testosterone filled haze and perfectly give off that “fuck you” vibe that’s key to many of their songs.

In a breathless fury, SWITCHES capture different aspects of reckless youth (adulthood) with every passing song. The opener “15 beers” matches the feelings that come with the high points of a drunken evening where, “I don’t care about this anymore/I don’t care about anything at all” gives you a temporary feeling of happiness. 

When a band covers Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car,” they are instantly in my good books. A guilty pleasure of mine, without the guilt, “Fast Car” is undoubtedly one of the best songs ever written. True to their band name, SWITCHES energizes the tune, redoing it in a punk style, including a fun riff from a church basement sounding organ, that makes it beyond recognition. In their abridge version, the emotions of the song have a new and more gritty spin for a fantastic and original take on a gem of a song. 

Other standout hits include an endearing love song (“ma cherie”), a homage to “best friends” (because the rule and are so cool), and a fast paced title track that’s brimming with confidence.

While the topic of love and relationships is throughout i just wanna, the bittersweet love song that is “super eight” is the strongest. Though claiming, “my alien lover was a big mistake” (read into that what you will), the muse of the song, “she’s got brown hair,” is treated to a movie, a hotel room, and a Swiss Chalet dinner throughout the course of the song. Hilarious, tragic, and super fun, “super eight” is SWITCHES at their best.

In their Bandcamp profile, SWITCHES boldly claim they, “are your favorite band. Only with more sing along parts. And more parts in each song. And less guitar solos. And more women. And more lazer ray power.” By record’s end, it’s clear that “and more energy” would fit quite nicely in that list.

Top Tracks: “fast car” “super eight”

Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)

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