SHATTERED DREAMS Get Outta My Way
Shattered Dreams are a band that Ive reviewed a couple of times before, so it was a pleasant surprise to receive their new offering in the post. They certainly seem to have toughened up their image with a black and white cover showing the band all mean n moody in shades and punk t shirts. Plus the title is in ransom-note lettering made popular by Jamie Reid on the Pistols LP covers.
Apparently all has not been well of late for the band with previous vocalist Steph quitting. However they have brought in the delectable Marnie Wood as a more than adequate replacement and have bedded in the new line up by solid gigging for the last 6 months in their hometown Oxford area. So has it all be worth it?
First track GET OUTTA MY WAY opens up with James Macks guitar intro that has more than a passing feel of the Ramones/Stiff Little Fingers. This is augmented by a solid backbeat and it definitely has the overall feel of a late 70s power punk release. Marnies vocals, whilst different from her predecessor, appear more raw and edgy and certainly suited to this punchy number. The lyrics seem to be about a manipulating ex-partner, although I wonder if it isnt also aimed partially at the bands detractors. There seems to be certain amount of emotion, maybe even venom, in the lyrics that at times seem practically spat out. I can imagine it being the perfect number to kick a gig into life with its catchy guitar riff and chorus. Definitely confirms that the band is back with a bang!
Second number LIVE AND LEARN is much more of a slow burner. With a Manics guitar-picked start, it slowly builds around Marnies passionate vocals. As the song progress the cacophony of sound builds, however the odd lull serves only to accentuate the approaching storm as the song build to a climax. Special praise must go to the thunderous drumming of James Coulson that gives the song its solid foundations. A lighters-in-the-air sort of song that certainly gives the EP a touch of light and shade.
Last number HONESTY falls somewhere in between the two previous songs. Screeching James Dean Bradfielesque guitars usher in a medium paced number that benefits from the nice bassline runs of Matt Oliver. The bands overall sound is tight and accomplished and they seem willing to try something different rather than stick to a regimented formula. Reminded me of certain Melissa Auf Der Maur tracks and that cant be a bad thing.
So after a rather tumultuous time of it recently, Shattered Dreams seem to be back in the groove and this is definitely their best offering to date. If you live in the Oxford area you dont have to take my word for it as they play South Park on September 9th for a Live JackFM showcase gig. So as its the beginning of the weekend why dont you get down there, have a beer, and give them your support.
If you live outside the vicinity then you can check them out on the following links. Or why not drop them an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and get yourself a copy of the EP.