Five years in the making, this new Shelves EP is a kick in the arse for Singapore music as far as melodic rock is concerned.
Shelves are back with a new single and EP!
It ain’t rock n’ roll.
Well, for most part (two-thirds) this oddly curated gig featured the loud, brash, melody-driven indie rock that I personally get my rocks off to completely. And whereas the likes of Shelves and Wavves had whipped up the crowd into a frenzy of sorts, Icelandic experimental outfit Mum duly engineered a totally different mood and tone. Minimalist, arty-farty, esoteric and pretentious, it left some members of the audience scratching their heads (figuratively, of course) though for the diehards, it was manna from heaven.
Now, believe me, I have sufficient knowledge to be able to understand where Mum was coming from, artistically and creatively but that merely reaches out to my head and not my groin. No such problem with Wavves who plunged headlong into punky no-wave feedback-drenched bubblegum ditties with a vengeance that compelled many a audience member to mosh and headbang. Short, sharp and sweet songs that needed no artful explanation to comprehend.
Shelves, as always, ever dependable to provide the sugar and the beat, Noel Yeo animated as usual, fronting the band with geeky abandon and it is indeed encouraging to see new lead guitarist Daryl Peh getting into the groove, whilst the reliable rhythm section of Robin Chua and Brian Leery lock down the ever important pulse.
A curiously eclectic lineup that challenged the usual conventions well enough to just about… work. Kudos goes to the organizers (Chugg/19SIXTYFIVE) accordingly. MORE!
An exclusive triple-bill of indie acts, featuring Singapore’s own Shelves, American surf-rockers Wavves and Icelandic
experimental band Múm, will be held on 15 June, 8pm at Zouk. Ahead of next Saturday’s gig, we got Shelves’ Noel Yeo to share his thoughts with us.
Can you talk about the recent personnel changes in Shelves?
A big one! We say bye to Mel, who, you know, has been with me since Suchness, and hello to Daryl, whom we first met as our sound guy at Hood Bar. He essentially came up to us and said, hi, I’ve got your LP, which was great because that meant he knew our sound so we didn’t really have to brief him. But it is a dirtier, grittier sound he’s introducing to Shelves, which we all love.
Can we expect new material at the Zouk show?
Actually yes! We are often somewhat embarrassed to be playing songs not on our album. I mean, it was the impetus to get our debut recorded and released. We were playing too many songs not meant to be on the album. So now we have an EP in the works. Sort of. We know which songs, but new ones keep being added in. Might be an LP by next week.
Múm or Wavves – which do you prefer more and why?
I should start by saying that I love both. Caught mum when they were last here in Singapore. But Wavves is definitely closer to our hearts now, if not sound. Quite a dream to be opening for them, really. Ok, didn’t actually dream that, but if you told me a few months ago Shelves would be opening for Wavves, I’d be, yes, perfect, but how unlikely is that.
How do you feel about sharing a stage with these bands?
It’s an impossible line-up. Mum with Wavves? I didn’t think they had the same fans. Add to that Shelves? Read that for other parts of the tour the line-up was Mum, Wavves and British Sea Power. I feel like apologising. I would have loved to catch them.
What is in the future for Shelves?
We don’t really make plans. We even have a song about that, which going to be in our next EP/LP. Is that a plan?
Tickets are available now on zoukclub.com AND Event Cliquehttp://bit.ly/16NwTVS at $80.
Doors open 7:30pm.
Stay tuned for interviews with Múm and Wavves.
…still there’s more…