As bands form and practice together, they evolve and find their sound. This process can be heard through the four tracks of Damn Lies by The Shoebills. Across the EP, the band mixes writing styles, sonic elements and jamming vibes giving us all a glimpse into the evolution and formation of their sound which really shines in the chronologically last two tracks.
Paul Cope (vocals, keys), Iain Sutherland (guitar), Jamie Hough (bass) and Chris Watson (drums) all met at a rehearsal studio and started jamming together. After overcoming an attempted suicide, the band has turned their jam sessions into powerful music complete with a huge presence on stage. Having suffered for their music, they have turned the trials and tribulations of life into something infectious that everyone should take the time to listen to.
The EP opens with ‘Falling Down’ which is chronologically the third song they made for the EP. By this track, you can already hear that the band has started to find their stride. The guitar line that opens the track hooks you to the sound and pulls you into the melody while getting your foot tapping. The vocals have a really smooth touch as they turn your attention to serious topics that threaten to overwhelm people across the world. It is a wonderful balance of feelings and melodics as the darkness of the world is illuminated only to be tempered by the question of what we can do to help. It is a really tight track with the vocals and melody working in perfect unison to bring the question and message of the track to life. The burst that comes later in the track is an absolute pleasure to listen to.
‘Damn Lies’ is the last track of the EP chronologically and cements the sound the band formed through the creation of these tracks. The drums grab your attention before the guitars lead you into a wonderful alternative rock vibe. The vocals have a darker and heavier feeling than the opening track that scratches up the back of your neck. The overlapping vocals are stunning and perfectly enhance the main vocal line. Through the verses, the instrumentation is light allowing the heaviness of the vocals to captivate your mind. When the chorus hits, the vocals lighten slightly in a moment of truth as the guitars and drums rise up. This track definitely gets you excited about what else the band has to offer and eager to hear more. Later in the track, everything gets a delicate light touch that leads you into a wonderful bridge.
The second chronological track of the EP is ‘Frenzy’ which has a completely different vibe from the other tracks. There is an energy in the melody that shakes up your insides and sends you into the frenzy of the title. You can hear a sense of enjoyment in the melody that comes from enjoying what you do. The vocals have some of the darkness of the last track, but this has been infused with a groovy vibe that makes you want to move uncontrollably to the sound. Later in the track, there is a drop that leads to the guitars getting your heart racing and muscles flailing. While it does not have the same tight arrangement as the first two tracks of the EP, you can hear the start of their sound in the rush.
The EP comes to a close with ‘Sweaty Mess’ which was the first song created for the EP. The guitar and drums that open the track have you marching down the soundscape with a little hop to your step. There is a blues-rock vibe to the vocals as they growl through the single and toss you into a hot mosh pit. While this track is the start of their evolution, it is addictive in a way that is hard to describe. You are hooked to the growl of the vocals and the dark tendrils of the guitars as they run up your arms. The single has you so lost in the solid movement that you are going to be shocked when it comes to an end.
Across the tracks of Damn Lies, The Shoebills introduce us to their sound, showcase their melodic evolution and have us eager for more. Each track has a different feeling to it, but there is something threaded through them that is authentically them. By the end of the EP, you will understand more about their musical evolution while enjoying every step they have taken.