The Shell Corporation is one of those bands whose name I’ve seen pop up every now and again without actually having checked them out. Listening to “Mandrake”, it appears that I’ve been missing out. These guys crank out some skate-punk tunes but will just as well slow things down so you can label them as melodic punk. Along the way they will throw in some folk (“Hear Them Wail”), ska (“Even Bob Villa Couldn’t Fix This Old House”) or even some post-hardcore as if they are afraid we would otherwise get bored.
Well, we wouldn’t… but thank you anyway! It all makes “Mandrake” a highly varied album that offers a little something for everyone while still coming off as a cohesive whole. With socially and politically aware lyrics, The Shell Corporation will drive their point home without sounding like they’re preaching. Even when they reach for the acoustic guitars on closer “Perfect World”, they make it worth your while and end up sounding like a cross between Green Day and Tigers Jaw. Nice work!