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Band Biographies: Shadow People

Somewhere in the nebulous fog of noise rock, sludge metal, and hardcore punk, therein lurk the Shadow People. Baton Rouge has produced a good line in ear-splitting bands, but few come close to the raw intensity that this trio have been conjure since 2013. The fourth release they have to offer, entitled Washing in Soap Opera, is a whirlwind introduction into the band’s intriguing sound.

With less than ten minutes to leave a lasting impression, the band waste no time in getting down into the dirt and grime. Opening with the wittily-titled “Why Don’t I Just Wear Tight Jeans, Pierce My Septum And Wear Fucking Glasses”, the EP sets up an atonal rollercoaster ride. The members are locked in a tight groove together, and the results are devastatingly heavy - a tar-thick bass tone threatens to overpower the feedback-tortured guitar lines and punchy drum patterns.There’s an incredible sense of dynamics in the songwriting, too - “Make Up Makes Up For It” exemplifies it, easily slipping from frenetic riffing to softer moments, which are a disguise as it builds up to an explosive finale.

The vocals, meanwhile, are a feat unto themselves - staccato shouts devolve into throat-shredding screams to the point of sounding unhinged, like on “I Always Wanted To Be A Motivational Speaker” (that would be quite some speech). Like with many noise rock bands, Matt Conradi’s lyrics center on issues close to home - on previous release Batom Rouge (spelling intended) they included their native city’s drug problem, the floods that destroyed their homes, and cancel culture - through a lens of dry and twisted sarcasm.

Shadow People may sound like they have no idea where they are going in each song, so chaotic they are, but that is what makes each moment of Washing in Soap Opera an absolute thrill. If heavy, unpredictable noise rock drenched in sludgy bass and a bad attitude is of interest, then these guys are the real deal.

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