Despite the amount of stick that pop-punk gets nowadays, there are still some bands that make the genre delightfully enjoyable and worth listening to, despite its well-noted lack of originality, at least in recent years.
One such band who are showing themselves to be capable of bringing the best out of what is a vastly over-crowded area are London based trio SHADED, who on their new EP, ‘A Familiar Love’, offer up a supercharged, jumping five track ride that epitomises everything loveable about the overdone term ‘pop-punk’.
Straight from the off, the production is tight, the lead riffs are rapid and raunchy, and frontman Matt East‘s glittery, oozing vocals are brightly gleaming. Right in with the light notes of ‘Dream Girl’, East‘s prominent vocals are the first thing that you pick out. He has a sort of Derek Di Scanio vibe to the way his voice rolls and flicks, unafraid to play around with notes and as such, and his delivery is equally as confident to his State Champs counterpart.
The track itself is the type of bouncy, set-opening song that any pop-punk EP needs, and it’s fair to say that they absolutely nail it.
The EP’s title-track and ‘Tell Me’ both have their quite obvious comparisons to Di Scanio‘s outfit, sounding like songs that could’ve been on their early work like ‘The Finer Things’, and that’s not totally a negative. That album, much like ‘A Familiar Love’, is a whole heap of fun from start-to-finish, and SHADED‘s similarities are only reminiscent of that in a positive way.
Towards the end, the infectious lead hook in the chorus of ‘You.’ that plays on falsetto, gliding vocals is every bit as stuck-in-your-head-worthy as the group intended it to be. That’s something that the EP really delivers on too. Each track is heavily-reliant on delivering catchy groove-ridden melodies that find their way into the tightest corners of your brain, waiting patiently for you to hum them subconsciously later on.
What SHADED have done on this EP is nothing spectacularly new, or even that inventive, but when you write a record that captures all the best parts of a genre and mould into one solid, replay-worthy record, then you don’t necessarily need to be new or fresh, particularly early on in their careers.
In short, ‘A Familiar Love’ just hits all the right notes.