EP: Make Them Swing ‘Till It Hurts
Label: Self Released
Shiema are a young trio working hard on getting their music heard by someone other than their mums and dads. Hailing from East London, the band’s press release claims that they were “always the bunch of kids who were the square block trying to fit into the circle hole.” What this says for the degradation of our education system here in the UK is a matter I will leave for the hilariously named Ed Balls to decide. All I’m willing to discuss here is Shiema’s self released EP, Make Them Swing ‘Till It Hurts.
With it’s cartoon cover there’s no doubting that this isn’t going to be grown up music, and the youth of the band is exacerbated a long stretch by Stewart Rayment’s voice, his balls so high up that Claudio Sanchez of Coheed & Cambria fame would have little work to teach him the ways of pulling your balls up to your head and hiding them in your hair (I guarantee you, that’s where they are). But the band’s innocent years are exposed in the general mediocrity of the four tracks on offer here. ‘On the Double’ fools you into believing it’s a cover of ‘Love on the Rocks’ before you realise that it’s just a pacey, middle of the road rock with repetitious and nonsensical lyrics about being in trouble. Oh, and then it ‘breaks down’ into a fucking horrid ska rhythm (yes, the same ska rythm that every ska band has used since the gruesome genres creation by Satan) which actually caused my cat to die. Perhaps.
’17th Miracle’ somewhat confuses me, as Rayment is singing about his ‘honey’ leaving him. Now, I didn’t have the most minge whilst I was in primary secondary school university, but even if I was a regular casonova I still don’t think I’d have enough material to pen a musical letter to my love. The lyrics just wreak of writing what will go down well, which as a rule of thumb is a great way to make everything you say sound like all you want to do is suckle of a label execs’ tit. The general banality of it all wouldn’t be so much of a problem if the guys weren’t so beset on telling everyone how ‘different’ they are to all the other young bands out there. The trouble is, nothing about this stands out at all – the guitar riff is dull and insipid, the lyrics and subject matter are as old of the hills, and then some and then the sheer whingey aspect of it immediately lines them up to the likes of teen heroes My Chemical Romance.
‘Hard Touch’ has some ivory’s being twinkled, which at least makes a change from the unremarkable guitars, but they just repeat the same dismally uninteresting chorus and verse over and over again, until the piano tune becomes so beset on invading your head that it’s the only thing that stands out among the persistent whine of Rayment’s voice. I don’t want to be too harsh on Shiema however, so it was a slight relief that ‘Second Time Under Fire’, their single if you will, was at least the highlight. The riff is actually borderline catchy, and the vocals sound a lot more backed up and more noticeable than before. It still skips gaily along Heard It All Before street, but this is certainly the track that you could at least imagine someone nodding their head to.
At the moment Shiema are nothing more than the kind of simple, no frills sqeaky clean rock that my younger sisters will fall in love with. This unequivocally means that I am predetermined to hate it, so perhaps this review is far too harsh on the poor lads. But the only other thing I can commend them on is their effort in recording the EP and drawing its pictures. Hell, at least they’re trying to inflict this mindless drivel on me, instead of spamming up Myspace 24/7 and whinging that no-one goes to gigs. But for the record, only look these guys up if you’ve literally just noticed lumps growing on your chest – you’ll probably lap it up.