Shelbyville - Head Above Water EP Review

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Shelbyville - Head Above Water EP Review

Post by thenoid on Sat Jul 03 2010, 20:56

I first heard about the band Shelbyville the same way I hear about most bands, by finding them on a music downloading site. That was probably early in 2009, after they released their first EP titled "Manhattan". Even before I start to listen to their new 2010 EP "Head Above Water", I liked this band. This band starts off by introducing themselves on their Myspace as a "Three piece (of shit) band". They later go on to say "we are not here to make a difference or change anyone's life, we are here to play music we love and have fun doing it". With so many bands these days trying to get famous and make money these guys already stand out.

As I sit down to review Shelbyville - Head Above Water EP here is a little background on the band. They started in 2006 in Central Pennsylvania and within 2 years they had released their first EP titled "Manhattan" which was self recorded and released. The band recently signed to Third Time Lucky Rekords, a small PA label that also is home to our friends Get A Life. The band also has its own clothing company called Food Fight Clothing & Design. A link is located at the end of this review. This EP was recorded at Drasik Studios in Chicago by Mark Michalik (producer of The Swellers)

I remember hearing their first EP "Manhattan" for the first time and not really being able to get into it much at all. However after the first listen to "Head Above Water" EP it is clear to see how the songwriting has matured and how the band has put much more into writing these songs than ever before. After listening it is easy to tell that this band doesn't force anything into their songs. I notice a lot of Pop Punk / Hardcore bands try to force breakdowns and two steps into their songs, but with Shelbyville it seems the music just flows.

The first song "Recalibrate & Celebrate" has a great opening, and easily captures the attention of the listener. Gang vocals are used in all the right spots, and there is no over using of breakdowns which is all too popular as this Pop Punk / Hardcore genre grows.

The second track "Avalon" is the quickest of the three on the EP and my favorite. The song doesn't have a killer breakdown, or a mob enticing two step beat, but altogether it is a solid Hardcore influenced Pop Punk track that keeps your mind on the lure of summer.

The final song is somewhat of a mystery. The name alone invites the mind to wonder. "How To Fight Something That Eats Planets". The track starts acoustically for about five seconds, but leaves me wishing the acoustic guitar continued. This track is a bit too long especially for listeners with short attention spans, but sporadically placed gang vocals keep the listeners attention on the hook.

After a few listens the major problem with this EP becomes apparent. With only three songs, and about 10 minutes of music it is hard to see "Head Above Water" making any real lasting impression on a listener. This short EP will not leave your subconscious begging you to play it over and over again for days on end, but you will find yourself humming the tune of "How To Fight" at the most random times, and reminding yourself that "You can run and hide, but you can't do both at the same time"

Shelbyville uses this release in a way that an EP should be used. In a day and age when EPs are released for bands that only write a few songs at a time it seems like Shelbyville uses this as a way the EP was meant to be used. Shelbyville has used this release as a way to say "Hey our band has matured from our first release and this is the music we are looking to make"

Shelbyville has begun demoing and writing new songs and plan to record a full-length by the end of the year.



Manhattan EP:
Head Above Water EP:

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Join date : 2010-04-06
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