Published Jan 21, 2020Last spring, Åsa Söderqvist and Lina Molarin Ericsson of ShitKid voyaged from their homeland of Stockholm, Sweden to perform at the SXSW festival in Texas. While in the US, they hit the studio for a couple of recording sessions — one in L.A. with legendary grudge rockers the Melvins, and another with Paul Leary of Butthole Surfers — and left it with a bilingual album in the works. Equal parts Swedish and English, Duo Limbo/"Mellan himmel å helvete" sees ShitKid taking an interesting approach to the creation of a condensed pop punk album, but the end result feels a bit too straightforward in its brevity.
English for "between heaven and hell," Mellan himmel å helvete begins with the grunge energy of "Get Jealous," a song about a girl wishing misfortunes upon somebody she might secretly be in love with. Later comes the uproar of the punk rock anthem "Eagles Over America," followed by "Anger MGMT," a song that slows down the tempo a notch, but still easily marks the catchiest chorus on the album.
Yet to call Duo Limbo/"Mellan himmel å helvete" an album feels like an overstatement: It is rather short as it stands, clocking in just over 26 minutes, but cut that in half when it comes to production expectations. Hearing Åsa Söderqvist passionately belt out her lyrics in both English and Swedish over identical instrumentals is compelling at first, but the novelty fades quickly, once the realization that one is listening to the same 13-minute project in two different languages begins to set in.
Söderqvist has stated that Duo Limbo/"Mellan himmel å helvete" might be the only time the duo will ever record in Swedish, and avid ShitKid listeners may enjoy the project as a rare and original undertaking. Still, there are bound to be others wishing that the release was lengthier and more nuanced. (Pnkslm)