Editor's Rating

Have a listen to: "Better With You" and "Too Far Distant"

8
Rating out of 10

Shaded – The Better Man in Me

Release Date: 1st September 2017
Purchase: http://smarturl.it/shadeduk

Good googly moogly am I a sucker for some well played pop punk. It may be my weakness, the way to instantly negate all the super powers that I have. I’m not scared, I’ll leap around with a crowd of teenage girls, I’ll scream louder than any of them, it’s how I roll. I’m secure in myself to admit that. One of the greatest things I have ever seen was the singer from (I believe) Boys like Girls think he was a bigger rock star than he was and stage dive into the a crowd of adolescent young girls. There is nothing quite like seeing a skinny singer rugby tackle an entire crowd and hit the floor hard.

Let that be a warning to you – know your audience and make sure they have been working out at the gym and building up their upper bodies for a catch, they need to work on their core strength as well for balance, a low centre of gravity is a must.

There is something about this EP from Shaded that is just undeniably fun – I may be a bit biased but this entire genre reminds me of playing guitar with friends; good times. But of course that is what it is, and ‘The Better Man In Me‘ captures the sound of a band that obviously love what they are doing, otherwise this genre doesn’t work. Just look at some of Blink 182’s later gigs (and albums for that matter) for evidence.

There is a genuine earnestness in these tracks, which is sometimes overlooked by other bands of the same genre. There is a tendency among other less accomplished acts to concentrate on the more juvenile aspects of the Blink 182 catalogue in order to find success. What Shaded manage here is to capture the energy and spirit of those tracks without sacrificing the real feeling in the lyrics to lazy self-parody.

As a result we have an album here that is not afraid to grasp a variety of different sounds and feelings. The distance between opening track ‘Better With You‘ and ‘Too Far Distant‘ is huge, and yet in remaining honest with the lyrics and showing consistent quality from the instrumentalists in the band, the EP flows with a professional quality that speaks of a band much more experienced than Shaded currently are.

The album holds a high tempo for the first three tracks before slowing down for ‘Too Far Distant‘ . This continues with ‘Bitter Cold‘ before ramping back up for a triumphant conclusion in ‘Deal My Hand.

The fact that I already think that Shaded are chronically underrated, despite this being their first release is surely only a testament to how bright the future is for them, as long as they continue to produce work with the same energy and enthusiasm that they have shown here. So far the only down side to this band that I have seen is that their tour plans don’t include Newcastle!

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