The truly unique music of ragtag Sydney indie outfit Shrapnel is in some ways a throwback to a more artistically open-minded time. Their songs capture the spirit of adventure and willingness to abandon convention in the chase of a memorable moment which was previously so prevalent in the US indie rock scene of the mid-90s, when bands like Guided By Voices, Built To Spill and Pavement would regularly redefine the parameters within which they could and would operate. The result is a batch of sonic journeys which throw the rulebook out the window with wild and unpredictable – but never less than spell-binding – results.
Originally starting life as a bedroom project to cater for the prolific creative vision of mainstay Sam Wilkinson (Day Ravies, Mope City, Beef Jerk, King Tears Mortuary), after two successful cassette releases – 2014’s Tobacco Dreams (Tenth Court) and 2015’s Carpet Yankers (Strange Pursuits) – Shrapnel started to morph into a band of its own accord, picking up members at a regular and unrelenting pace.
Yet while Shrapnel may have evolved from a synth-pop side-project into a fully-fledged dream band, the crux of its music remains rooted around Wilkinson’s unique and idiosyncratic vision, a strain of wistful, otherworldly melancholia which twists and turns through strange new vistas but which is rife with left-of-centre hooks and melodies which eke their way into your brain and once there refuse to relinquish their stranglehold.
Shrapnel’s debut album Tranceplanetsugarmouth (out late-October through new Brisbane label Coolin’ By Sound) is the perfect distillation of this willingness to deviate from the beaten track. It’s a diverse batch of songs united by Wilkinson’s voice and vision and the over musicality of his newly-minted bandmates – whose individual voices are increasingly taking root in the Shrapnel aesthetic – and the self-recorded collection also makes Wilkinson’s strong production skills dramatically apparent.
So abandon those pesky preconceptions and open your mind to the horizon-broadening brilliance of Shrapnel where the pop and underground worlds collide – catching some Shrapnel has never been so life-affirming!
What critics have said about previous Shrapnel releases:
“… a lot of cantankerous, haphazard, blistering in the shade rock on offer.”Sonic Masala
“… a left of centred guitar pop gem.”I Oh You
“…an album of lo-fi, DIY guitar-psych mayhem.”Pop Lib
Sam Wilkinson – guitars, vocals (Day Ravies, Mope City, Sachet, Beef Jerk, King Tears Mortuary)
Matt Neville – guitars, vocals (Day Ravies, Mope City)
Pete Beringer – drums (Julia Why?, King Tears Mortuary)
Nic Johnson – bass, vocals (Miners, Dick Pix)
Chris Yates – guitars, vocals (Weak Boys, Dollar Bar)
Shrapnel’s debut album Tranceplanetsugarmouth is released on vinyl through Coolin’ By Sound October 28th, 2016.