Young Surrey rockers SHADED are everything you could ask for if you are after a band that strays away from the generic 'pop punk' pathway that many groups of today get cemented to. Grinding together poppy melodies with driving drum beats and thrashy riffs sees SHADED captivate the attention of mainstream music with their rock and roll image, as well as maintaining a factor of heavy for punk fans alike.
The four pieces debut EP The Better Man In Me showcases their potential massively, with six tracks holding its own pleasurable sound. Kicking things off with a song that falls into a typical category about love and heartbreak, 'Better With You' builds with the sound of revving amplifiers which is soon joined by a booming head bobbing beat that gently chugs along - getting the ball rolling nicely for the carnage to come. Right from the beginning SHADED's lead Matt East shows many similarities to State Champs' Derek DiScanio in terms of vocals as both frontmen are clear, crisp and exaggerate their notes in a way that makes their music so easy going and flow to perfection.
'Too Far Distant' is the song that allows you to take a breather from the raucous, upbeat melodies shredded beforehand, letting you delve into a bleeding spiral of emotion for a short space of time. This shows a different side to the band that you can only imagine will bring crowds together when playing to a live audience, creating intimate moments that will no doubt be remembered.
But it's 'Bitter Cold' that definitely stands out as a highlight song on the EP as it holds a heap load of energy within its rhythms, something very different to the direction of 'Too Far Distant'. Propelling a tasty pop punk melody our way with fantastic work from all instrumentalists, (not to forget the vocals), Bitter Cold is one wild anthem that holds a very special place within the EP, which without, wouldn't be the same.
The Better Man In Me overall is an extremely enjoyable listen, one that you could easily have on repeat. Although the EP's overall quality did not match that of other bands in the scene - for a group as unrecognised as SHADED and for it being only their first release the record itself is a stellar representation of what the Surrey punks are made of and a little taster of what's to come in hopefully a starlit future.