Don’t Shelve These Guys
Admittedly it hadn’t been the best night in any technical sense; the giant overhead screen kept cutting out in random places and the audio occasionally shut itself off. But the band on stage was way too cool to worry about any of that.
Unveiled as a home-made band and with a combined almost 20 years in our local music scene, Shelves was no doubt equipped to overpower the hiccups at the 5th Night Festival with their unique brand of indie-rock.
Comprising frontman Noel Yeo (vocals and guitar), Melvin Ho (guitar and vocals), Brian Leery (bass) and Robin Chua (drums), first impression was how their sound certainly reminded us of Singapore-based band Pug Jelly.
The energy and lightheartedness of their music shone through with jaunty tracks like “(She Wakes Up To) The Beat”, “Against A Wall” and “It’s Always Summer”, from their new self-titled album, and in the incessant head-banging and jumping around that took place right before our eyes.
This sort of energy brought out the punk rock rebellious edge of the band, who consider themselves “men struggling to be boys again”. It’s for this reason that you wouldn’t expect the vocals to be particularly refined, but still expect absolutely powerful musicianship.
We particularly enjoyed the guitar solos within each song and the general cheeriness of the tracks, which together with Noel’s youthful and boisterous lyrics gave an overall irresistible edge to the band’s appeal.
We defy you to resist the urge to dance around while listening to this band strut their stuff – I for one couldn’t help but move around (albeit on the spot due to the crowd around me) to the delicious tunes that were put out.
In truth there really aren’t that many Singaporean bands that choose to play this very genre, which makes Shelves is a pretty refreshing departure from our typical brand of local music.
It was a pity, we thought, that the band weren’t selected to represent us at the Reeperbahn Fest in Hamburg, Germany (although Monster Cat is pretty awesome too). It’s a different side to music in Singapore that not even locals, let alone people overseas, are familiar with.
At the end of the day we could hardly have enjoyed ourselves any more watching Shelves do their thing at the SMU College Green. And it just goes to show that even the young-at-heart can have a blast.