Shades of Oleander had huge plans when they formed last year. However, the world changed and of course, everyone’s plans went out of the window. However, this did not slow down Josh Rivers (Lead Vocals, Keys), Philip McCarthy (Lead Guitar, Bass), Josh Foust (Back-up Vocals, Drums). Instead, they redirected their energy into new music. They say, “In hindsight, I guess that was a good thing because it allowed us to really take our time and write some great songs! And now we are working hard to get out and play shows. As well as releasing some of the work we’ve been doing”.
First came their debut single “L Words”, which caught a lot of people’s attention. It is a track that has a catchy summery vibe thanks to its arrangement and gentle vocals. Not only that, but they also showcase a lyrical talent that has depth within its storytelling. It has an infectious feel that leaves you wanting more when it ends.
Now to the present, the guys have released their follow-up single “Hell Bent”. It offers more of their upbeat pop-rock energy, especially with the use of the keys by Rivers. It is all shown during the intro, which sets things up for their story to begin. Like their debut release, some may be offended by their choice of words. They use it to enforce the tone of their story, as highlighted from the opening lines, “I came home from work today / The boss told me to Fuck off / Got caught with the meter maid / Still screwing with socks on”.
When the chorus arrives, their soundtrack takes a slightly different turn as the band switch things up. It is a trait that features through the remainder of the song as it switches from verse to hook and vice versa. In doing so, it stops “Hell Bent” from sounding too samey.
“Hell Bent” is a song summed up by the closing line, “We’ll all go back to my place and party ’till the day breaks!”. It is enforced further during the hook with “But I’m hell bent on having fun, selling sex, and getting buzzed / The crack in my soul is leaking drugs / Put a whole in my heart and through my lungs”. While other bands may play it safe, this trio showcase that this is music the way they want it. It is a quality that makes them stand out.
On the surface Shades of Oleander seem like a fun time band. But, they offer so much more with their songwriting talents
Like their debut track, “Hell Bent” leaves you wanting more. The energy both singles give off is infectious, giving the listener a feel-good factor. The good news is there is more to come as their debut album is due towards the end of October. Also, it’s safe to say they may drop another single or two before then. Shades of Oleander are here, and they mean business.
Find more from Shades Of Oleander on social media: