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Jul 27, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

It’s not surprising that the music on ShadowParty‘s self-titled debut album contains traces of the familiar punk-pop beats of New Order and Devo given the protagonists here are past and/or current members of these bands. But ShadowParty is more than a recycling project. It’s a complex conglomeration of musical ideas taking cues from various genres in addition to the aforementioned and notable punk-pop beats.

In ways similar to Broken Social Scene, ShadowParty tend to pack a lot of material into their songs. The bouncy beats and uptempo grooves grab most of the attention. But as the tracks ramble on, the attention wanes as an overabundance of mixed-genre elements are added, leaving the listener unsure whether they liked them or not. Those that stick with it and let their ears adjust will slowly make sense of it all and end up enjoying this record.

Even though the tracks are jam packed with diverse features, they are well orchestrated and arranged. Some songs slowly build from dreamy intros as others fade out with curious atmospherics. Some come at you full on with shambolic indie-rock covered in a pop sheen while others suck you in slowly with intriguing sound effects that color the sprawling background.

ShadowParty aren’t afraid to try something different either. A few tracks add a little R&B vibe courtesy of some backup female singers. It’s tastefully done and works well on “Reverse the Curse” and “Vowel Movement,” but it’s way overblown on “Present Tense.”

ShadowParty is a solid record teeming with musical explorations held together with catchy beats that entertains a little more with each listen. (

Author rating: 6/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10


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Arnold Rothstein
October 30th 2018

For fans of this particular era, ShadowParty’s debut offers welcome satisfaction, breathing new life into the familiar with fresh ideas and a freedom unhindered by the burden of the beloved party planning companies ny acts from which they originated. The album is certainly steeped in the synthpop and post-punk genres so associated with their feeder groups, so much of this album feels very much in its comfort zone: a solid and pleasing sound with few surprises.