This is a review of "EP No 1" recorded by Unexploded Shells. The review was written by Richard Garnett in 2005.
What happens when reviewers get together to form their own band? Do they right the wrongs of all the mountains of dross they have had to wade through in their time? Do they give us a clear and concise lesson in how it should really be done? Do they put down in music what they had always been trying to say in print? Judging by this debut, the answer to all these questions is no. Unexploded Shells, like any band venturing onto CD for the first time, have just the same amount of lessons to learn as the rest of us and the imaginatively titled EP No.1 is fair testament. Opening with the misguided humour of “It’s That Song”, which attempts a double bluff, being both a repetitive and annoying song about songs which are repetitive and annoying... get it? Sadly what the band seem to forgot is that the finished article is actually repetitive and annoying and therefore ultimately ineffective. Throughout Mark Sturdy’s vocals lack the trick of being both dead pan and melodic but it’s clear to see what is being attempted. “Summer Again” is a confused number but “Tender Kisses” with its Hefner intro builds into something respectable. Live closer “Icarus Drowning 1976” experiments with a sample but is rather unremarkable for it. EP numbers 2, 3 and 4 will no doubt see the band grow in strength.