The supergroup. Something that people thought was a bygone word. Until now…..
Tom Chapman. Phil Cunningham. Josh Hager. Jeff Friedl. Fans of New Order and Devo will instantly recognise these names. For they have joined together to make ShadowParty, and they are treating us with the release of their new eponymous album.
And all you music listeners and lovers are in for a treat.
First track is ‘Celebrate’, and features the considerable talents of Denise Johnson, best known for her work with Primal Scream, joining in on a song that’s got a chorus that will grab you immediately, it’s that catchy. A majestic opener that’s followed by ‘Taking Over’. A song that’s definitely influenced by Chapman and Cunningham’s role in New Order, but a terrific indie/pop floor filler. Third song in is Reverse The Curse, and keeps the groove alive with cool, slick beats with main and backing vocals to match.
Next track up is ‘Marigold’, and is the first of two songs to feature ex-Verve guitarist, Nick McCabe. An excellent combo of a slow, dark start to the song, with McCabe’s distinctive guitar style directing the song in to a fast, yet subtle, march with an accompanying string arrangement, courtesy of Joe Duddell. Half way song of the album comes in the shape of, Sooner Or Later. A song that now lends a nod to Devo, but made to suit these modern times.
A definite dance floor filler is the sixth song on the album, Present Tense. And it’s certainly the pick of the bunch, with Denise Johnson popping up again on vocals, as she does on a great portion of the album. It’s a song that you have to dance to, you have very little choice. It’s brilliant.
Song seven is, Even So. The second song to feature Nick McCabe, and you can definitely tell his influence on this one. Along with Joe Duddell and his excellent string arrangement, this is a slow, yet powerful, number that instantly grabs your attention. Eighth number is, Truth. A foot tapper of a song, and one that’s guaranteed to get you singing when you see the band live.
Vowel Movement is the penultimate song on the album, and once again features Denise Johnson and DJ Whitney Fierce, and it’s certainly a mix of New Order and Devo sound. New Devo, maybe??
Bringing the music to close is, The Valley. A heavy drum beat, mixing into the electronica sound that is so prominent throughout this wonderful album. A great finale.
Make no mistake, this is an album that keeps your attention right from the beginning. And has the hallmarks of quality that music lovers associate with everyone involved on this album. ShadowParty certainly do stand out from the shadows with this record.