Following up on their single ‘Shoebox’, indie popsters and al round groove merchants The Shrugs have released the full throttle blast of ‘Charlie Brown’, which we are very pleased to premiere here at Backseat Mafia.
‘Charlie Brown’ blasts off with the typical Marrickville sound of fuzzy guitar pop and bluster. A crunchy guitar intro launches into a hyperkinetic blast with the sardonic tones of the vocals touched with the louche insouciance of something by Kim Deal and Breeders and a throbbing Pixies/Nirvana quiet/loud ethic.
Jed Holmes explains the serious message behind the track:
While ‘Charlie Brown’ was originally written about a particular situation it’s also become a bit of a comment on toxic positivity. Every time you go through a rough patch, say you get your heart broken or have a bad bout with mental health, there’ll be extremely well-intentioned people who will bombard you with glib, useless platitudes. “Cheer up” they’ll say, or “just be positive”, or some rubbish about going outside. The song is about this attitude but also its more modern extension where a philosophy of “good vibes only” has been adopted by the optimist faction. As if you can just ignore a whole category of feelings and still consider yourself emotionally healthy. Denial in a sparkly costume with a hefty dose of superiority.
But here’s the rub; if you don’t acknowledge and process these feelings you won’t develop the emotional scaffolding necessary to cope with them in the future. I’ve found these folks are quick to fall apart when things actually go pear shaped. Better to expect the worst and be pleasantly surprised.
And despite the dark themes, there is a hint of resolution and resilience in the face of the vicissitudes of life:
As for the Charlie Brown aspect, I just feel like he’s our power animal. There’s something about that little dude’s melancholy that I feel like we could all learn from. He doesn’t run around being relentlessly happy, he doesn’t run from his feelings. He might go in with a positive attitude but when he feels sad he just feels it. Don’t turn that frown upside down, you just make it Charlie Brown.
The Shrugs are a band that sets your feet dancing and your mind whirring. A perfect pop package with a heavy metal thunder, oozing with organic delicious riffs and neck breaking swerves. Here’s an exclusive listen for your unbound auditory pleasure:
‘Charlie Brown’ is out tomorrow through all the usual download/streaming sites.
The Shrugs consists of members of bands such as Imperial Broads, Belles Will Ring, Sister Jane, Slimey Things, Face Command, Hobo Bordeaux, La Tarantella, Firinn, Bvllvds and Forcefields. They are:
Sophia Evans – vocals
Lauren Crew – bass, vocals
Matt Ward – drums
Jed Holmes – guitar, vocals
The Shrugs will be disporting their wares on 29 October at the Moshpit in Sydney – details below.