Having gotten their melodic punk claws into other parts of the world, French trio The Shapers are now concentrating on the UK with the uncaging of new EP Reckless Youth which is set to be followed by a British tour. The release offers a captivating collection of songs bred from the heart of punk rock and brought up embracing its numerous strains. It is punk ‘n’ roll to breed a hungry appetite for and an encounter which starts with a bang and, though it arguably does not always maintain its initial impact, only leaves a want for more.
Hailing from Toulouse, The Shapers emerged in 2009 from the union of vocalist/guitarist Anthony Cauvin, bassist/backing vocalist Raphaël Bouissière, and drummer Benoit Holin. Quickly unleashing a hunger to play live, by 2011 the threesome was touring China and Indonesia to such success that the band retuned again in 2015 to eagerly awaiting fans, adding the likes of Thailand to their global CV. Two years after that first tour, The Shapers was going around North America where they shared stages with NOFX and Pennywise, the prize for winning a ‘best up-and-coming band’ competition. With the release of debut Everybody Needs To Have A Dream in 2012 equally drawing potent acclaim to go along with shows alongside the likes of The Flatliners, Silverstein, Face To Face, and Dream on Dreamer over time, The Shapers have been on a unstoppable roll set to continue with Reckless Youth.
The EP opens with a gentle caress of guitar as Can’t Forget slips into view. Within a few more breaths it is rumbling through ears with sturdy beats and ravenous bass riffs as band shouts crowd the voice and guitar enterprise of Cauvin. Initially there are few surprises but certainly an alluring dose of hooks and anthemic prowess which has the body bouncing and energies aroused. Subsequently though, an electro hinting broadens its presence to sizzle and provoke, the song from an opening Blink 182/Pennywise like character with a hint of Buzzcocks to it revealing a fiery G.R.I.M scented invention. Melodies and adventurous twists only add to the increasing creative drama and virulent persuasion of the song, resulting in a superb and invigorating introduction.
The outstanding start continues with Secrets and straight away it is taunting with beats as the guitar enjoyably hassles the senses with its spicy intimidation. The grooved bait of the bass only adds to the swiftly gripping tempting, as too an excellent mix of lead and group vocals. Carrying a fuzzy electro pop mischief into its imagination and urgency, the song reminds of Russian band Biting Elbows in a punk ‘n’ roll stomp that only gets the body and emotions fully involved.
The following Another Chance equally shows its muscle and catchiness early. The bass offers the menace whilst beats and hooks uncage the infectiousness which fuels the songs’ surge into attention and a keen appetite. Again maybe uniqueness is not as high on the agenda of the song as stirring up a good time, but whilst lacking some of the spark of its predecessors, the track only pleases with its feverish enterprise and refreshing energy loaded revelry.
The instrumental Lonely Moments comes next with an acoustic guitar hug of melodic charm which is enjoyable but does not quite fit in with the company of the songs around it, something which No Regrets has less problem with. It too is an acoustic bass croon with Cauvin as potent as ever vocally and impressively backed by band harmonies. It also misses the same elements which made especially the first pair of songs so captivating but again it only leaves satisfaction full before Youth Disaster takes over with its grumbling riffs and skittish percussion around more of Cauvin’s engaging. Offering a tenacious landscape of classic rock laced, punk seeded rock ‘n’ roll, the track plays like a mix of Good Charlotte and Sum 41, blossoming from a strong start into an inescapable, almost stormy roar thick with anthemic persuasion.
Ending almost as powerfully as it certainly started, Reckless Youth is one of those releases easy to find yourself drawn back to time and time again. As mentioned The Shapers have their eyes on the UK now and going by the potency of their EP, it is hard to see them failing to stir up another wave of eager fuss.
The Reckless Youth EP is available from Friday 26th February through all digital platforms.
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Pete RingMaster 24/02/2016
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