Hit The SwitchCobbled together from the remains of various bands, Hit The Switch formed in September 2004. The band immediately started writing songs together and didn't waste any time at committing those songs to an album. The band self-produced their debut, Domestic Tranquility & Social Justice, at Love Juice Labs in Riverside.
Admittedly, there's no subtlety in a title like Domestic Tranquility & Social Justice, but Hit The Switch refuses to pull punches. They write music with a message, and considering the message it makes sense that the band wants more control over the medium. Hit The Switch and their label, Nitro Records, will give the album away in two waves beginning with the official July 18th release of the album. Singer Matthew Hawks explains: "We don't need to depend on corporations to get our message to people."
The message? Well, don't expect the band to advocate any one system or proselytize for any specific way of thinking. Instead they encourage people to look around and pick the causes that are important to them. "We just want to make people aware of what they're contributing to everyday—to be conscious of what's out there and who is accountable."
Domestic Tranquility & Social Justice races open with "March of Dissent." The song, complete with a thundering drum break-down and angry gang vocals, speaks of questioning authority and working together for the better of humanity, "concern for humanitarian beliefs / we don't agree with present law / the fight never ends when we're not aware / too late to go it alone."
"We see our music as a tool to raise awareness," Hawks says, "to snap people out of their self-consuming lives and into consciousness."
It's a bit ironic then that "Anarcho-Syndicalist" begins with a marching, metal ratatat—a call to line up behind the famous anarchist Rudolf Rucker? Does Hit The Switch expect full-on anarchism to solve the world's problems?
"We respect and admire Rocker for staying true to his convictions, but we don't believe pure anarchism will work," explains Hawks.
In an age where our youth are inspired by fashion and wealth, it's rare to find a young band that has any clue to what a mission statement is, let alone committing itself to one. Hit The Switch is one of those rare bands. It's refreshing to know that a band is more concerned more with "social justice and the sanctity of humanity" than they are with how their hair looks on their myspace page.
It begs the question, in light of what many consider to be major debacles of the current, one-party dominated government, why doesn't a greater number of this nation's youth stand up and stand together to raise questions and demand answers?
For the rest of the year, expect to find Hit The Switch on the road and online spreading Domestic Tranquility & Social Justice to America's youth, stirring them to action.
Hit The Switch @ MySpace