Following endlessly positive reviews of Millie Manders and The Shutup and a brilliant clip from their set at Rebellion Festival 2018 (think Millie dancing in the crowd of a packed out Empress Ballroom), I was honoured to be given the chance to review latest E.P ‘Shutup’.
Released today (Friday 21st September), this is an E.P which doesn’t shy away from political, social and environmental issues, but captures these problems to use as a positive release for the listener. It’s ska-punk with a hint of jazz, and a lot of hope for the future, which I’d recommend to any fans of The Specials, Less Than Jake, Madness and No Doubt.
The first track ‘Right To Life’ is a definite future fan favourite and the perfect introduction to Millie Manders and The Shutup. The track’s soulful introduction breaks into a high octane ska bounce, a freedom of expression curated by Millie’s vocals. You get the impression Millie could turn her hand to any style of vocals and it would be a success. As with much of the E.P, ‘Right To Life’ doesn’t lack its substance, discussing habitat destruction and human selfishness leading to the degradation of animals: “the right to life isn’t just ours to own, the king of the jungle reduced to handbags and coats”.
‘Brave’ and ‘Lollipops’ are a little different. The big entrance of ‘Right To Life’ done, second track ‘Brave’ sounds more jazz-ska (is there such a thing, maybe there is now?) rather than punk, and ‘Lollipops’ has that pop-punk Less Than Jake vibe to it. ‘Lollipops’ is an excellent track, talking of the plight of those in war torn countries: “the bombers are coming to flatten the land, killing the innocents: child, woman, man”. It’s great to hear a band which doesn’t sit quietly whilst the world’s problems slide by the wayside.
‘Shutup’ isn’t an E.P which will change the world, but it’s positivity is infectious and the message clear. Millie is unabashedly herself, and in that lies her power. She’s an excellent role-model for passion in doing what you love and has built a band which creates a rich, free-flowing sound which can only serve as an unending source of potential.
‘Shutup’ EP track listing:
1. Right To Life
4. One That Got Away
MILLIE MANDERS & THE SHUTUP are:
Millie Manders – Vocals, Ukulele & Alto Saxophone
Lewis Slater – Guitar
Matt Munford – Bass
Alessandro Vitiello (Ale) – Drums
George Alan – Trumpet
Dom Walker – Tenor Saxophone