Album Review: The Shell Corporation – “Mandrake”

Looking for one of the biggest melodic-punk sounds that’s gracing the political landscape? Then The Shell Corporation is what you’re trying to find. They mash in skate-punk, post-hardcore and so much more into Mandrake, that it pans out as one of the biggest punk records, in its diversity and prose, to hit the speakers this year. Such a fast-paced, no-nonsense sound can’t be ignored.

“Appetite for Distraction” is the best representation of how they’ve tooled their old skate-sound into a more melodic and grown-up punk vibe. It’s hard-hitting but still derivative of the fists in the air that their old music was built on. They still pay homage to their skate-punk roots with “Trust Us”, another cynical punk beat. It’s vicious and stepped in driving chords and thumping drums. The diversity of this record is not to be underplayed at all.

“Even Bob Villa Couldn’t Fix This Old House” pays homage to Sublime, Less Than Jake and the many ska bands out there doing their thing. It’s bass-ridden yet filled with charm and harmony and sets up a finale that swings all over the place, in a good way. They fool around with so many post-hardcore and post-punk subtleties as well but still find time to lace the vintage punk as well as a neat little treat in acoustic balladeering, seen on “Perfect World”. It’s best described as a Green Day meets Tigers Jaw mix and most endearing.

If you knew the old sound of the band, and then listened to this, you’d be able to spot how much they improved and how much new intricacies are slipped in. They were always good but Mandrake is the most fitting exclamation point!

4.5/5 Stars

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