What seems to be most endearing about Australia’s Shrapnel is that they have no fear of skewing towards record nerd impulses, splattering them all over the expanse of their new record Alasitas. While the band, which was formed by Sydney’s Sam Wilkinson (Day Ravies, Mope City), doesn’t shy away from hooks and indie pop immediacy, they’re just as bound to lace in some ’60s Anglo-folk excess or E6 visions of grandiosity. Songs barrel through the unlikely territories of The Sunshine Fix, Elf Power and Fairport Convention while keeping one foot in the more workaday pop pantheon. With their partly-sunny strums augmented by a bevy of flutes and clarinet, the band works to find that niche that some of the lesser sung members of the Elephant 6 found at their disposal, wedging themselves into a corner that blocks out the current wave of aloof Aussie janglers and the twee revivalists alike.

The album is beset by a melancholy that seeps to the marrow and the band luxuriates in it, seemingly happiest when they’re letting the sun spoil their riffs and warp their hooks. The ‘60s hangover is at least two generations removed, a carbon copy of a carbon copy that calls across the wastelands of peer 2 peer pass downs and blogspot downloads that have informed an adolescence that only knows how to press influences between wax paper and meld down the colors of a dream into kaleidoscopic pop that can’t be denied and can’t quite be placed. We’re in the nth wave of indie pop at this point, but Shrapnel are making a statement that they can harness the past and push it forward in their own image.

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