(4 / 5)
One of the ‘most-likely to-make-it-big-and-soon’ UK bands/singers , Millie Manders & The Shutup, release their debut album, “Telling Truths, Breaking Ties” in three days’ time.
Out on 23rd October on download, CD and red vinyl – the physical releases can be pre-ordered from the band at https://millie-manders.com/ alongside a range of limited-edition merchandise that raises funds for The Survivors Trust – an umbrella charity for survivors of rape and sexual abuse – NHS Charities Together and the mental health charities Mind and Papyrus.
Millie Manders on lead vocal/alto sax’ and ukulele, James Pendle on guitars, Georgina Boreham on bass, Alessandro Vitiello on drums and Dom Walker on tenor sax. From Norwich and London.
Music Republic Magazine got behind the band a while ago from the sizzling singles they put out, and hoped – yes, we so hoped – the debut album was as incendiary and as powerful as the first few tracks and not a let down. Is it? Read on………….
We get 10 tracks from the five-piece, opening with the brash and thrashy, guitar-soaked “Your Story”, a single release from June this year, which starts as the set means to go on. In yer face and taking no prisoners.
“Broken Record” is more of the same; aggressive vocal and raucous backing with an ear-worm hook.
“Here We Go Again (Black Dog)”, stays in the fast lane BPM-wise, with more punky attitude.
The single from spring 2020, “Silent Screams”, shows Millie’s versatility as a singer, when she backs off of the throaty, raspy, shouty vocals and slings in some spoken word rap of sorts. Nice job. Good song.
She (kinda) spits bars at a pace on the summer single “Bitter”, along with a smoother singing style. Radio-friendly track and another hook for a chorus. See the video to this track, below….
A bit of a reggae vibe on “Poor Mans Show” (no apostrophe on “Mans” on the song title, with the link to the tracks I have access to!). Vitriolic social commentary and a pop at the Government for spending cash on bombing overseas, but not on the NHS….and other political shizzle. Not a track that works for me, even though I agree with their protest topic.
“Panic Master” is a strong cut, with a bizarre audio sample of a Brummie-accented bloke flogging cheap meat, presumably from a market van. There’s a bit of a metal thing going on with this track, and less of the punk vibe.
Eight tracks in to the set before things slow down, for “Glitter Mix,” a rock ballad that brings welcome light and shade. Millie proves she is a proper singer and not just a shouty punkster. Lovely song, lovely vocals and beautiful production. Her power and her vocal control is superb. Really is. This is the standout of the 10 tracks, for me.
Penultimate offering, “Not Okay”, is a brassy, horn-drenched number that moves back to the faster stuff and will prove a popular live cut, if we ever get back to any gigs. Please, please, please….I so miss live music.
This very impressive debut album closes with “Burnout”, and the quality and the urgency of these songs and these performances doesn’t dissipate. Apart from the reggae-ified track, this album held my attention and kept up the excitement levels throughout. What us reviewers call “an even listen”.
“Telling Truths, Breaking Ties” traces tales of heartbreak, depression, world views, anxiety, following dreams and observational thoughts. Loss, betrayal, anger, bitterness, environmental catastrophe and political unrest. Songs and lyrics to inspire the questioning of social norms.
A palpable infectious energy to every note and every word. If you are after soothing background music while you work from home or chill out on the sofa with a cup of cocoa, after battling idiots refusing to obey social distancing on the commute, best dig out your Coldplay and Adele records – as this one is deffo not for you……………
Unashamedly punk at its core, but with doses of hip hop, pop and metal slung in for good measure. These are anthems for the locked down and the ‘pissed off with the dictatorial suits’, generation.
Festivals were made for this band, this exceptional singer and these fab songs. A shame this drops when there are no festivals anywhere on the planet…but songs do not go past their use by date, do they? They’ll keep………..
Magnificent Millie and her marvellous men ain’t ready to shut up just yet (see what I did there?)
By Simon Redley
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’