”Written byJosh Raynham
“Pounding bass-fuelled grotty club-punk music: vigorous, excessive and deliciously camp.” – Gigwise
Shelf Lives is the brainchild of vocalist Sabrina Di Giulio and guitarist/producer Jonny Hillyard. Previous projects like ‘Yes, offence’ lean heavier on the wild outbursts of guitar riffs by marrying extravagant beats with darkly comedic hooks. This is a recipe Shelf Liveshas consistently kept true to, and the results take shape in sonic emblems that never fail to tell an invigorating story.
At the forefront, the band makes energetic pop songs that bring the abrasiveness and physicality of punk back to a small, cramped house party setting. Creating music so rowdy you can practically feel the sweat on the ceiling and the sound of crushed cans under your feet.
“All Grown Up” begins with screeching guitars that ecstatically meet the climactic vocals of duo member Jonny Hillyard. Beckoning “Everything is fucked” with a half-witted smile and the vocal timbre of that of Peaches or Death Grips, it’s this chaotic and slightly unsettling vibe that Shelf Lives wears best. Lyrically, the track speaks on the ways in which society forces human beings to grow up against their will. Sprinkled with the harsh yet addictive vocals of Sabrina Di Giulio. Almost commanding the audience to “take your meds”, or to “get a prescription”. Sabrina tempts the fate of adulthood. This pairs well with Shelf Lives desire to not be taken too seriously – as the subject matter they navigate often makes a mockery of society’s most well-kept atrocities.
Shelf Lives on the track:
“With All Grown Up we’re offering listeners a relatable journey that explores the nature of personal growth, self-acceptance and the complexities of navigating societal expectations. ‘Growing up’ is challenging, no matter the specifics. You can’t escape the societal pressures that inevitably shape your identity. You can end being on auto-pilot, where you may feel like you’re going through the motions without truly being present or connected to your own desires and passions. You get pushed into an internal and external battle of pursuing your authenticity vs. conforming. It gets crowded when you step in line but we’ve been socialized to believe that it gets lonely standing out from the crowd.”
Pairing hardcore punk’s brief bursts of energy with electroclash’s minimal and sleazy sonics, Shelf Lives raise themes of societal collapse and hyper-consumerism with a warped smile. Each screeching note pulls the audience closer to anarchy with a sense of worlds end. The duo drives home this feeling of getting older but at the same time what it means to stay young, fuck the system, and to fully live in each extroverted moment.