by Matt Voracek (@anotherdyingart)
Australian trio Shady Nasty self-released their first single last year and already managed to grasp onto a signature sound. “Upwardsbound,” one of the five songs on their 2017 debut EP, is a moody and discordant reflection on uncertainty. The track has a sinister aura, stuttering with guitar stabs while swooning with an erratic drama. Lead singer Kevin Stathis fronts a dreamy croon here that snaps back into a defensive stance: “Fruit never falls far/ From my hand or your healing/ No man's land/ Dripping off every wall”. It is always impressive to hear a fledgling group nail a performance (and an accompanying video) on their first attempt. That feeling only deepens when you discover that all three band members are not yet old enough to enjoy a pint in the States.
As far as the rest of their self-titled release, Shady Nasty is still exploring possibilities via their predilection for minor chords and dank sonic passageways. Album opener “Citizen’s Arrest” is a mid-tempo creeper, advancing and flanking the listener aggressively only to culminate into a full-stop aural meltdown. The meandering lead-in for “Hard Head” is another tease as the tempo careens in fits while furious chants are dealt from a distant mental state. Although most of the vocals on their new tracks are slathered with a heavy dose of reverb, “90” benefits from the clarity of Stathis’ cleaner vocal performance. His barbed guitar and deep intonation flirt with shadowy post-punk, but never fall victim to straight mimicry. Finding a band this practiced without label representation is rare, but Shady Nasty reveal here that they are ready for the next step. The only unknowns left are where and when.