Shifting – ‘It Was Good’ | Album Review


Shifting’s debut album It Was Good is out now.

Dublin based noise rock trio Shifting have released their first full length album. The trio have burst out of the traps with It Was Good, a bold claim, but one that certainly seems worth investigating. Comprised of Paul Clynes and the Hedigan brothers, Matt and Lewis, Shifting are no strangers to the Irish post hardcore scene, having been involved with (amongst others) Hands Up Who Wants to Die and No Spill Blood.

This experience has clearly stood them in good stead as It Was Good swaggers into the room with a raucous opener ‘Spudgasm’. The repetitive guitar and driving bass really give you an indication of what you are in for with this album- Shifting are not here to stand still. The track rises and falls but ends with a surge of guitar and angry vocals as ‘The Sky Is Falling In’, every part of this track is really tight- from the skill of the musicians to the tense feeling of the singer being wound up like a coiled spring ready to burst forward.

If the first track had swagger, the follow up ‘Polo Neck Dream’ is a full on, top buttoned strut with arms out and MD 2020 in hand. Growing up in Scotland and hearing so many bands in heavier music genre’s put on false American drawl, I am always delighted to hear people sticking to their true accents and the rawness of the Dublin accent really lends itself well to the frantic nature of this track.

Both ‘Pompadour’ and ‘Big Ed’ are bass-heavy riots- The kind of song that makes you yearn for a dinghy basement somewhere jumping around with sweaty strangers while half cut on cheap beer and whisky. These are a heart-breaking reminder that Shifting must be excellent live! This energy is present throughout the whole album, but more so here. I for one will be booking a ticket as soon we’re allowed.

My vote for the standout track on this album is ‘Voted Most Popular’. A real dystopian call to arms. The thumping drums and bass give way to a screeching guitar and the whole track has a beautiful distortion to it. Couple this with the brutal imagery of the lyrics: ‘While you watch a blend of assorted salivas trickling through our facial hair and down our chins onto our necks. And you. You’re Next!’ you really get a sense of the hardest kids calling people out for whatever the Dublin version of a ‘Square Go’ is.

As ‘Pig from Heaven’ trots into your ears at a relatively calm pace, you would be forgiven for thinking that you were getting some sort of respite from this onslaught of thunderous noise. Compared to the tracks before it, this one is almost a lullaby. This is a nice respite from the thrashing, frantic nature of the previous tracks, a nice way to come back to land after being blown around by this hurricane of an album.

This respite is short-lived as the final track ‘The Bland Leading the Bland’ is one of the more hectic 90 seconds you are likely to encounter on your couch. Tribal drums and industrial guitars finish off this album the way it started.

Shifting promised at the beginning of this album that ‘It was good’ and after thrashing around my empty flat all day, I’m inclined to agree with them.

Order the album via Bandcamp.

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