Track of the Week: Svalbard – Expect Equal Respect

We are trying something new: each Sunday one of us picks a Track of the Week. Last week Jeffrey wrote about the new Deftones single, Maartje’s pick this time is Svalbard’s blistering new single ‘Expect Equal Respect’.


Everyone who has been following Smithsfoodgroup for a while, knows we enjoy Svalbard. This British band played our shows a handful of times and have delivered an outstanding debut album on Holy Roar Records last year. First we’d learned about them, was on their European tour with Pariso in 2013. Their show on tour with Employed To Serve in ACU is one of my favorite performances to date. Of All Time.

Earlier this week, Svalbard released their new single of that spectacular album: ‘Expect Equal Respect’. When I received a vinyl copy of the LP, this track’s lyrics were the first I read and I basically wanted to copy + paste them everywhere- but never did because this remains a difficult topic. Much alike racism and homophobia in metal, sexism is a thing many of experience and many of us like to sweep under the rug. For me personally, this ranges from not getting a handshake when a band enters a venue, to being commanded to “get us some drinks”, to being asked something; saying no and then having someone ask a random male venue employee the exact same question. Sexism isn’t as visible as being catcalled at shows; it’s “small” things like these that still happen at about a third of all concerts I attend. That’s a huge number. And honestly, it’s often easier to let it slide than to act. It’s safer, too.

What the band does here, goes beyond screaming about women’s rights and ending discrimination. ‘Expect Equal Respect’ boils the topic down to the bitter core. Here we are, half of all people on earth, and we’re either being ignored or praised for our physique. All of this shouldn’t even have to be said.