This quirky group reminds me of the solo records by Stan Ridgway of Wall of Voodoo. Others have cited Mark E. Smith of The Fall and Flying Nun Records' roster as influences. Maybe a bit of Talking Heads too. Both of these songs appeared on The Shifters' previous self-titled cassette.
Favorite track: Creggan Shops.
There’s more than a few moments on the debut single from Melbourne, Australia’s the Shifters that suggest, at least as far as I can tell, that they might be more than a little familiar with the work of Mark E. Smith and company. The deadpan male/female vocal pairing and minimalist rhythmic repetition, repetition, repetition worked into “Creggan Shops” and “Captain Hindsight” sound like they’ve been lovingly traced from the blueprints of the Fall’s’ early, scrappy glory days (Live at the Witch Trials through Hex Enduction Hour, if you’re keeping score), with all of that band’s tightly-wound paranoia, if slightly less of a sense of imminent and inevitable volatile self-destruction. But the Shifters are equally capable of twisting their sound into a fractured, low-fidelity pop sprawl that takes some further cues from the scrappy, rough and tumble sounds of the early-to-mid ‘80s Flying Nun Records catalog, with that particular synthesis of inspirations serving as an implicit reminder that the Fall had, in their heyday, conquered the Top 20 charts in New Zealand. After this record, the Shifters really deserve no less for themselves.
-Erika Elizabeth (Maximum Rock'n'Roll, Futures and Pasts radio)