Local pop-punk act Makeshift Shelters makes ye olde neo-emo tropes sound artful and earnest. On its debut LP, Something So Personal, which dropped yesterday, the band shows off its mastery of power chords, simple storytelling, and hyperactive percussion—but it drips with unexpected rhythm shifts, clean fill-ins, and a special sauce with heavy attitude.
The album opens with a few uptempo, mosh-ready tracks that do an able job of serving classic pop-punk without the cheese. On “”This Song is Definitely Not About a Boy”” (yes, the quotes are part of the title), vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Ella Boissonault peppers sassy spoken lines into a flip-off of a love interest she’s so, so, over. Like the rest of the album, it’s a fun, youthful romp. If I had to poke a hole in the record, it would be the uber-tidy production, which drains a little blood out of a heart-pumping genre.
When the frenzy slows down for gentle strumming and wistful vocals on the opening verses of “New Coast,” the band settles into a heartbreaking, Waxahatchee-channeling meditation that turns driving and anthemic. “I’ll Be The One Who Comes Around,” too, is a tribute to Makeshift Shelters’ emotional range and restraint.
Stream Something So Personal, which thoroughly deserves its title, after the jump.