We know very little about The Shallows, they seem to prefer having an air of mystery and only communicate via the medium of instagram and very short tweets. When you google The Shallows you get reems of links to websites trying to get you to buy a book about why the internet has made us a fickle and mean generation. However it seems these guys want us to do the very opposite.
The about section of their website (a tumblr page, how very on trend!) gives some cryptic philosophical messages with a lovely picture of the lads by Tower Bridge in their hometown of London. The only other info we really know about them are their names:
Tom Skelton (lead vocals, guitar)
Michael Rendall (bass, keys, backing vocals)
Russ Cragg (guitar, backing vocals)
Timmy Rickward (drums, backing vocals)
They’ve just released a four track EP entitled ‘About Time Vol. 1’. We love the science fiction themed cover which has a strong reference to Fritz Lang’s ‘Metropolis’. On the initial listen we drew comparisons to a couple of other UK based bands: The Maccabees and Two Door Cinema Club . Although they have a slightly darker feel than the other two bands they share the same driving rhythmic guitar and bass riffs and fit very comfortably into the UK Indie scene.
‘Fairly True’ is an upbeat and slightly atonal track on the lead up to the chorus. It’s beautifully balanced with a smoother verse and more edgy bridge into the chorus, keeping us hooked but not to displaced as the song develops.
‘Get Gone’ has a slightly heavier feel and really brings the rest of the bands backing vocals to the fore (if that’s possible). They provide some lovely woo’s in the background at the chorus. For us this track kept reminding us of The Feeling on the verse, mixed in with a bit of the Dandy Warhols and a bit of Pulp for good measure.
‘Honestly gets a bit darker again, and we’re pretty sure this song is referencing Supernatural a bit, however with the mysterious silence that the band like to keep we shall never know. The driving bass in this one reminds us of The Kooks and provides the moody drive to back up the vocals. The synth strings in the break add a really nice texture change before bringing the rest of the band back for a climatic finish.
‘Win or Lose’ starts out softly and builds us back up for a climatic rocky finish on a faded out guitar chord. Marrying together all the elements of the other songs and keeping us going with a rhythmic guitar worthy of the Kaiser Chiefs. We felt very satisfied with the end to this EP.
The Shallows have so many bits that remind us of other bands ranging from Neon Trees to MGMT to The Flaming Lips and all the others we’ve mentioned as we’ve gone along. Tom has vocals reminiscent of Preston from The Ordinary Boys, with his thick London accent, however he also posseses a softer more song like tone which we definitely prefer. With all of these we get the feeling that we’ve been listening to their music for years, but they have their own unique sound. They’re that new friend that you’re amazed you got this far without.
All in all, we’re addicted and we hope to hear more from The Shallows in the future. We just wish we knew more about them….
Download ‘All About Time Vol. 1’