For Fans Of
Melbourne four-piece Sheltered are the youngins of the local scene. Named after an old Superheaven song, they took their first baby steps with 2014’s three-track demo, but now they’re not only walking tall, they’re running with some of the best.
‘Treat Me Like A Ghost’ (whose cover reminds us of Sleepwave’s debut) is leaps and bounds ahead of their demo, in terms of both musicianship and production value. For their first proper EP, the band has ditched the kiddy-pool of emo/post-hardcore and is now dipping their toes into the big kids pool, where everything is tighter, more mature, and just arguably better in every way. Recorded with Ocean Grove’s Sam Bassal, (who must be rolling in the benjies with all the work he gets), this EP is short and sweat, kinda like a midget covered in chocolate, with only four tracks and a run-time of about 12 minutes. And that definitely works in its favour (the running time, not the chocolate bathed midget).
The gritty and grungy ‘Inside Out’ starts things off and it’s a sound that was hinted at on their first demo, but now it’s been fully realised, and it feels refreshing as there aren’t a whole lot of bands in the Australian scene writing songs like this. The melodic hardcore undertones of ‘Broken Bones’ (which is arguably the best track on offer) follow and this track combines the melody, melancholy and passion of the group’s style all in one neatly tied aggressive package. At first, the snow-balling motion of ‘Feed’ (which may give some listeners a strong Break Even vibe with those guitars) was expected, but it erupts into a powerful, break-neck fast punk section in its final minute, complete with fast riffs, blast beats and hardcore shouts. Nice.
‘Can’t Be Seen At All’ closes out the EP in a short two and a half minute culmination of the sounds and influences that make up this EP; strong 90’s grunge influence, huge emphasis on melody, reverb heavy and chorus-infused guitars, tonnes of distortion (when necessary, of course), and raw vocals that are appropriately unintelligible. Furthermore, ‘Treat Me Like A Ghost‘, like all good EPs, leaves you wanting more, oh so much more of it, but in the best possible way.
Sheltered are a Run For Cover Records worship band, but, to their credit, they’ve put out an EP that trumps most of that labels releases thus far this year. Maybe it’s the fact they’re homegrown, maybe it’s because they’re young and have the potential, or maybe it’s because there are fuck all bands combining the melodic punk/hardcore sound of Endless Heights and Break Even with Postblue’s wallowing melancholic soundscape at the moment, who knows? Either way, this EP is a terrific release and let’s not jinx it, but this could be the start of something truly great.
1. Inside Out
2. Broken Bones
4. Can’t Be Seen At All