What A Wonderful Place This Earth Must Be
(Table Three Media / Super Jazz Tapes / Pete Judge Records)
As stated foremostly on their respective social media accounts, Shelly is, in fact, a band. A band that fell not exactly victim to a fascination with space, aliens and crystals, but rather as content participants in using that as an aesthetic for the group. With having prior releases under monikers such as, “Scout” and “Scout Boys,” What A Wonderful Place This Earth Must Be is the Long Island and New York borough bound band’s first release with their newly-announced name.
Initiating the delve into this release proves to be easy. With a hit on play, the first track “Faded As Hell” strikes the ear as an Osker-circa-Idle-Will-Kill era gem via echoed voice and just backing distorted guitar. But of course, not for long. By the 20-second mark, full band (i.e. guitar, bass, drums and second guitar) mode comes into fruition proving to be more than just palatable while working its way through a minor-trading off with the occasional-major chord punkish formula defined by the likes of Title Fight. This, musically, becoming the mainstay of the record.
For the next few tracks, “Black Yukon Sucker Punch” (watch video below) and “Everything Is Chemtrails” that formula remains consistent, but with a slightly more positive feel given the higher register harmonized “ooh’s” typically near the ending of each song, along with spats of whammy bar usage to master a contemporary surf feel. By this point of listening, it’s obvious that lyrics aren’t at the forefront of importance with the collection of nine songs, but somehow, to the listener, that’s totally fine. There is still plenty of emotion able to be received just through the music itself.
Most of the songs, which typically never exceed three minutes are able to display enough variety with a limited means. The title track is dynamic enough to alternate between a somewhat clean guitar, yet be the most aggressive track on the album in the chorus with heavy drums and a somewhat slow, almost daunting pace. And, “Mad Horny” aside from revealing that humor is not lost on the Shelly gang, showcases the band’s capability of creating insanely addictive guitar hooks comparable to Yuck.
Overall, this is an album full of melody, and equal parts dissonance. It’s that album you want to listen to after you’ve been subtweeted, but also the one you want to listen to when you just got out of work and are stuck in traffic on the way home and want to play a rousing game of, “using my steering wheel as a drum set.” Maybe even the one to play if you ever have a space themed party. Most importantly, it sticks, and I challenge you to listen to it, and not be caught whistling a part of it over the next week.