Depending on how you consume music, there’s a good chance that you’ve never heard the indie rock sounds of Oakland duo Shutups. Last year they successfully released their debut full length Everyday I’m Less Zen. But once you dig in, you realize that the two piece with punk undertones has been around for a minute, releasing plenty of EP’s before that. And while it’s okay that you weren’t listening to them for EP 1 back in 2016, now you need to turn your attention to their latest EP release 5. What you get here is punchy and upfront songs that never let up while keeping your attention from open to close.
The jangled guitar that opens “All At Once” is quickly met with dual vocals that add weight to the track. The indie rock structures flanked by punk aesthetics make the song more memorable as the hooks feel organic and without labor. There’s plenty of craft here between the bridge and the chorus that holds your ears. The song is a great way to open the EP as it sets the stage for what’s to come. Where “Death From Behind” continues the chug a lug riffs, there’s this beautiful melodic guitar tone that meets the drums and offers a different tone that pulls you in. It seems like a gamble but it works so well here.
And while it’s easy to love the snappy sounds of “Can You Dance To A Feeling” and you can’t help but fall for the honesty behind “The Monday After Easter Sunday,” the winner of this EP comes with the closing track. “Last Place” takes this almost monotone vocal and pairs it with an acoustic that comes across as in your face with earnest memory. The lyrics and the beat offer a varied sound to signal the picturesque tone of the song. There’s a quirkiness to the melodic notes within before a gutter drenched guitar fuzz makes its way in. There’s a real sparkle to the song that makes it a fitting end to a great EP.
5 can be purchased from Kill Rock Stars on various formats including on a limited edition vinyl. It’s also available in all digital outlets or to stream on all services.
Image Credits: Photo Courtesy of Artist.