Monday, 8 October 2012

Review: Shred Kelly – In The Hills

Shred Kelly – In The Hills (Independent)
Shred Kelly is a five-piece progressive mountain string band. As you can imagine, I don’t get to type that too often. Most young string bands fall into two camps; they’re either desperately trying to sound authentic and ancient, like they recorded their album in 1959, or they’re ex-punkers trying to re-invent the wheel with extra electrics and double the attitude. Shred Kelly appears to be neither. They’ve been listening to Arcade Fire, The Decemberists, and maybe a little Radiohead, and the craggy road they’re moving down is one decidedly less travelled.

The call the East Kootenays of British Columbia home, a region in southwest Canada with more than its fair share of mountains and wilderness. The terrain is reflected in their music and words, but equally, they weren’t raised in a vacuum, and outside influences litter their approach. For example, opening track “New Black” sounds perfectly contemporary. Strip away the banjo and what’s left is just a great indie rock song. “Cabin Fever”, is infinitely rootsier, but still straddles genres, and its upbeat rhythm and enthusiastic air deserves a sizeable audience. Both singers, Tim Newton and Sage McBride, possess big expressive voices that add considerably to the group’s sound, and the latter’s keyboards add another subtle dimension.
Simon M.

Shred Kelly: In the Hills

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