SHED SEVEN Room In My House gets 5/10

Shed Seven
Room In My House 

Liberator/BMG

5/10

The music industry is no stranger to a bit of hype. In the early 90s it seemed almost every kid in the Pacific Northwest with long hair and a flannelette shirt got signed under the banner of grunge. A few years later every skinny kid passing through Camden wearing Kangol suddenly found their periphery indie band on a major label thanks to Britpop.

As cynical as this point is, the results weren’t always a bad thing. Anyone who was lucky enough to be in love with the Britpop “movement” in the mid 90s not only got to lose themselves in the likes of Oasis, Blur, Suede, Pulp, Supergrass etc they got access to a host of other artists that otherwise would have been shelved on the local UK gig circuit. Remember, this was the last great rock movement before Napster came along and changed the way we consume and access music.

There was some quality amongst these “second tier” Britpop bands, Shed Seven included. If you weren’t an avid reader of NME, Melody Maker or Select you probably had no idea who they were aside from being semi-staple inclusions on Britpop themed compilation tapes. Then again, those tapes often came free with said magazines, which probably diminishes my point, but still, you get my point.

Shed Seven’s new single Room In My House (lifted from Instant Pleasures, released November 3) is the sort of thing that Britpop kids approach with trepidation. Here’s a band we may have disproportionately loved in the mid 90s and now, in a very different time, they reemerge to… like… pretty much do the same.

Those of use who lived through Britpop can be broken down into two broad categories: those who made a “fresh start” after the dust settled on the scene and those who really took a shine to Kasabian. If you’re in the Kasabian basket, you’ll most likely enjoy this song.

Room In My House starts with a group “Oh-oh-oh-ohohoh-oh” kind of chant/refrain which immediately makes me think they’re really going for the niche “guy who edits the sport highlights” market. If this is what they’re doing then I applaud them.

It is hard to listen to the track without contextualising it in the history of Britpop and what’s happened in the 20 years since we last heard from Shed Seven. But rest assured, if a guy in jeans with an Adidas tracksuit top approaches you to ask you where you got your “cool trainers” from, he’s probably digging this track. If he’s also got a Beatles haircut with 15-35% grey hair, quote your favourite line from the song and I guarantee he’ll say “mega” before either winking at you or going in for a fist bump.

Ultimately the song isn’t as grabbing as it would have been if it was released in 1996, and it could have been released in 1996. It certainly isn’t as disappointing as The Stone Roses’ All For One last year, a song which I’m assuming society has agreed to forget exists, but then Shed Seven were never poster children for a generation. If you miss the simpler time of Britpop this may resonate, if you don’t this will probably just wash over you. Personally it made me go back and listen to their 1996 album A Maximum High, and for that I am grateful.

JAMES HALL

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