It really feels that 2018 is becoming a breakout year for long-time friend of The Punk Archive Millie Manders and The Shutup. With numerous festival slots including Rebellion and Boomtown, as well as a solo acoustic slot at the Manchester Punk Festival already in their pocket there’s also the small matter of their third EP, the ironically named Shutup as those who know her will testify it’s about the one thing she’s not very good at! The record is due to drop in late September.
The crackle of needle on vinyl opens the EP with Millie’s voice sounding stronger than ever on Right To Life, a track about animal rights. As the crackle ends the up-tempo ska starts and what a start: I haven’t heard such positive upbeats for a while, a surefire dance floor filler. Vocally the rapid delivery on the verses doesn’t really suit Millie in my opinion, a little tinny at times reminding me of Laila from Sonic Boom Six, but on the chorus you can really feel her power. Likewise, the band (The Shutup) sound as tight as ever forcing the music to hit new heights as well.
If that hasn’t woken you up then the alarm clock that starts second track Brave will do. Reining in the ska for your more regular punk fare (although the brass is still to be found, especially in the jazzy mellow mid-section breakdown) the song fizzes along with Millie raging against conformity.
Never afraid to voice her opinion, third track Lollipops sees her highlighting the worldwide refugee crisis. You can really feel the passion in her voice which combines with the intensity and mood of the guitars creating a track that is both memorable and worthy.
Ending the EP on a real high is the One That Got Away. An infectiously catchy chorus which I guarantee you’ll be humming for weeks, is perfectly matched by the music as it catches the mood of the vocals, mirroring the ups and downs of relationships as it switches from upbeat to angry.
With energy to spare this EP is the sound of a band hitting their stride. It’s catchy, intelligent, well written and just a great listen: in fact it’s been on a pretty constant loop during my commute since I first received it. With live dates around the country in support of the release there’s no excuse not to get out and catch the band live, where you can truly feel the full power of Millie’s incredible voice, which as previously stated, is not easy to “shutup”!