RustThousand Islands Records
By Cole Faulkner
Hamburg melodic punk rock act Shirley D. Pressed follow the 90’s EpiFat tradition of accelerating at unrelenting speeds while laying down track after track of metal-tinged guitar work, not unlike A Wilhelm Scream’s iconic highs. Landing somewhere between the historic CoCal skatepunk scene and the molotov aggression of contemporary European peers like Antillectual, the band hungers to expose and denounce social and political injustices. The quartet’s debut full length, Rust, ignites a fire under the quartet that rages fiercely across fifteen highly combustible tracks of punk rock fury.
Blasting out the gate, “I’m Not Insane” opens with an extended quote from American comic Bill Hicks that establishes a metaphor for life as a ride in an amusement park, and how beneficiaries of the ride are so invested in maintaining the illusion that they silence the voice of reason. The song’s message is of establishing that those resisting the status quo are “more than just insane.” A sense of urgency flows through each verse as drums let loose and sweeping “woah-oah” enhanced melodies direct listeners to pertinent social justice thoughts. The sense of immediacy continues with “Leave Behind”’s call to “open your eyes” and enter a clearer state of mind. With rough landing vocals bolstered by a salvo of metal edged riffs defining the song’s final moments, the band pledges sonic allegiance to Propagandhi and A Wilhelm Scream. “Winds Of Sea” and “Who We Are” succinctly summarize the swirling amalgamation of influences on display. With hardcore vocal components punctuating a chorus of harmonies that feel largely indebted to No Use For A Name, “Resolution” reaches a similar climax in guitar and vocal intensity, with Shirley D. Pressed channelling their frustrations and anger into fist pumping anthemic choruses.
For an album titled Rust, Shirley D. Pressed offer up a highly polished slice of skatepunk gleaming with sharp guitar work and pointed melody. The band follows in the tradition of many of the punk rock legacy acts that once graced the early Epitaph and Fat Wreck Chords rosters. Throw in a little contemporary aggression and commitment to dropping complex, technical guitar solos, and you have an easy case for keeping this revival strong. With Rust, Shirley D. Pressed easily stands poised to join the ranks of notable 90’s skatepunk revivalists like Mute, Sic Waiting, and The Shell Corporation.