Sticking to the tried and tested formula of less is more, Play Dead exemplify the punk ethos through their brash attitude, snotty vocals and short, punchy tunes. It’s a well-worn blueprint that’s been used by many a band, but Play Dead manage to leave an impression with their sharp lyrics and funny, yet detailed storytelling.
Their latest single, Shaun, is no different, clocking in at two minutes and eighteen seconds. The song burns through its collection of blistering riffs and thumping drums before anything can get stale. Singer Joe Blair has a frank and no-frills voice that cuts straight to the chase like any good punk singer should do. There’s no fat at all on this lean piece of meat, just vicious thrills and a guarantee to get people on their feet.
The lyrics help to elevate Shaun. Inspired by stories about bassist Ollie Clarke’s nan’s boyfriend, the song tells the tale of a gentle and kind giant with a sharp temper, as quick to neck pints at the local with friends and have a laugh as he is to kick off and start punching people off their bikes. It’s a hilarious character study that tells you all you need to know about this individual in a short amount of time.
Shaun is a great next chapter in Play Dead’s career, who have all the potential in the world to reach the level of fellow punk throwbacks Fontaines DC.