This week I had the pleasure of being introduced to SHVPES. They’re a British rock/metal band featuring Griffin Dickinson (vocals), Ryan Hamilton (guitar/vocals), Youssef Ashraf (guitar), and Harry Jennings (drums). I’ll admit on my first quick listen they sounded like just another metalcore type band. But after a few days and a fair amount more listening to the album, Pain. Joy. Ecstasy. Despair, I came to a rather different conclusion.
These genre-bending, self proclaimed “sonic alchemists” truly have found a different style. I was hard pressed to really be able to compare them to anything specific. I could hear sounds peppered throughout of bands like Periphery, Papa Roach, Skindred, and even hints of Cypress Hill. Needless to say, the more I listened, the more my curiosity was piqued.
A track that instantly stood out to me was the title track of the album. The imagery of pain, joy, ecstasy, and despair each being their own bottle alludes to how all those emotions drive us and they are all felt over and over again. Metaphorically speaking, we’ve all drank from each of these bottles. Some more willingly than others.
Singer Griffin Dickinson had this to say about another of the interesting tracks.“Two Minutes Of Hate is about how frustrating it is to be growing up in a generation that’s lost. We don’t know where we are gonna go, what the future holds – it’s very bleak in that sense. Those songs put in a metaphors about what it’s like being young in this world.” It’s definitely a topic that deserves attention in today’s world with the uncertainty of what may be ahead of us.
One of the most catchy tracks off the album, in my opinion, is “Skin & Bones.” Starting slow and jumping right into a heavy first verse with a melodic chorus, it’s really a good track. You also get to hear a bit of the band’s homage to hip hop in this one. It’s a perfect example of the band’s ability to cross the genre boundaries as you hear so many different sounding possibilities coming from just this one song.
Your best bet is just to listen for yourself. These guys set out with a mission to bring people out of their rock and metal comfort zones, and they have succeeded in such a great way. I’ve saved the best part of this piece for last. You don’t have to wait to hear it! The album is already out and available for your listening enjoyment. Go pick up Pain. Joy. Ecstasy. Despair today!