Ermis Madikopoulos

An EP is a taster in what to expect from a band. It gives people an opportunity to hear what they have in their arsenal so far. It’s also important because bands spend their whole lives working on these songs, crafting them to perfection. This is the case for Suffolk pop punkers Shaded, who self-release their debut EP ‘A Better Man in Me’ in early September. It features big melodic choruses, which are perfect for a summer’s day, while their take on the heavier side brings something different to their sound.

The first track is the bands latest single, ‘Better With You’. Even though it’s Shaded’s first single, there’s a hint for something bigger, with melodies influenced by 5 Seconds of Summer. In fact, this is what sets Shaded apart; they can draw inspiration from their peers and mould their own style into their choruses, the key change at the end only enhancing their potential. But it’s ‘Here’s To Starting Again’ that brings a heavier dimension to the guitars, while the vocal production has a poppy sheen to it. ‘Tendencies (The Times I’ve Caved)’ has a similar vibe, with a chorus reminiscent of Blink-182. Like most pop-punk records, there’s the slow ballad. In Shaded’s case, it’s ‘Too Far Distant’. It is about a break-up in a relationship, but while the lyrics convey emotion and are sung with conviction, the drums feel out of place in the mix. It’s a slight blip on an otherwise promising EP.

For all of ‘The Better Man in Me’s catchiness, they save the best for last on ‘Deal My Hand’. It’s fun and has bags of energy, dominated by a hummable pop-punk riff. It even features a strong guitar solo and the harmonies are top notch, leaving the listener salivating for more. With catchy harmonies aplenty, and a giddy ambitious energy, you’ll want to keep an eye out for Shaded in the future.

‘The Better Man in Me’ is self-released on 1st September.

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