WORDS: Laura McCarthy
SHOSHIN have been making good progress with their music over the past few years, with first offering Deep Sleprivation being a great starting point, showing promise for the three piece. From there it is obvious that SHOSHIN have clearly developed as a band, showing more confidence in their sound and style. The latest contribution Epiphanies And Wastelands is proof of that.
Kicking off with Same to Me, this track is most definitely a strong start to this album. Loaded with resolve and drive, you wouldn’t be surprised to hear this as an opener for a show. However, don’t be fooled by the hooks and chilled out bass. This record is laden with agenda and has a lot of underlying ferocity about a whole plethora of themes; Betrayal, isolation, negativity, hypocrisy.
Leech is a particularly good listen, the intent behind it is clear, while keeping the cool collective that makes this band stand out as big contenders in this experimental style. Indeed, there’s a fine line between being perceived as overly aggressive or being too chilled with this fresh short of sound, but SHOSHIN treads it with skill and precision, allowing the thumping bass lines carry the weighty lyrics.
This is an album that’s been crafted with care, there’s no doubt about that. The mix is rich and even, which with producer Chris Sheldon on board (FOO FIGHTERS, PIXIES, RADIOHEAD), is to be expected. The talent of the trio really shines through; lyrically there is a step up from the first album, with the same heart and drive, but with the past few years clearly showing a shift up in gear in this new material. The tonality of both the drums and the bass is completely in focus with the singing, nothing feels disjointed or forced, while the vocals themselves are clear throughout, maintaining melody between the spoken and the sung.
The whole album keeps itself tight and flows well from song to song, and there’s a lot to gain from a re-listen. With a tour lined up across Europe in the coming months, there is no doubt that the crowds will enjoy the overall feel of the new songs. This is an album of passion and you can tell the three piece have a great time playing these songs.
Take Plan C, the first single for this record. If there’s a song that demonstrates this band’s musical drive and talent, this is a great place to start listening to them from. The steady pacing lyrical competence makes this not only enormously catchy but a true testament to the bands understanding of their own music.
In addition to this, the range of song lengths is a nice thing to mention – Janine is a lot of fun, and while short it’s hugely relatable, whereas New Day incorporates more of a reggae influence and draws out the experience of the song in just over four minutes. Diversity between tracks has never been an issue for SHOSHIN, and Epiphanies And Wastelands makes for a wonderfully expansive album.
Overall this should be a pleasing listen for existing fans, while those who have yet to listen will be hard pushed to find a song they won’t like. SHOSHIN are living up to their namesake, being open and eager, and not afraid of looking at every subject they cover with precision and clarity.
Epiphanies and Wastelands is out now via Membran