Words: ROBIN MUMFORD
Before going any further, I must use this time to admit a confession. From the start, I was wrong about The Shed Project. Having first stumbled across their enterprise in 2020, just after they had released their second single ‘One Shot’, which was quickly followed up by ‘Lucky Number’ - a track that became emblematic of my thoughts towards the Bolton-based band, I undervalued them.
During this time, I was the host of the fleeting and fugitive podcast ‘The Indie Plug’, which, much to my disillusionment, only made it to nine episodes. But during this period, The Shed Project rendered themselves as a band that was determined to make it to the top. Every time I logged into Twitter in the morning, my feed was dumbfounded by the band’s posts and musical networking.
On some occasions they would be praising other musicians, and on others, they were promoting their own sounds. In the inaugural months of their existence, you could not get away from The Shed Project. Of course, this would be something that could easily be labelled exasperating or pestiferous. However, because of who they are and how nice they radiate themselves, The Shed Project were a band, even back then, that everyone loved.
You could never fault their dedication and nor could you ever under-emphasise their grip on the musical scene over social media. After all, they are genuine personalities with an upbeat aura emitting from them.
Hard working rockers with a clear path to victory.
A path to victory I regrettably underestimated.
Going back to the point I was making about their early releases being emblematic of my thoughts towards this Bolton band, what I meant is I couldn’t see a progression ladder. See, their early releases, to me at least, sounded much like 90’s Britain. Britpop this, The Stone Roses vocalism that.
Perhaps that’s being a little harsh, because in all honesty, I did enjoy their music. It just always felt like it was confined by an expiry date. The Shed Project aren’t exactly a young band, and along with their genre choice being outdated, it was difficult to see how far they could go in their journey before they’d find themselves running on remaining fumes.
Oh, how I was so wrong.
Their debut album ‘The Curious Mind Of A Common Man’ has proven me wrong in sublime fashion. No longer do I get the impression that their music is outdated and no longer am I concerned that this band isn’t going anywhere.
On this production, they boast a new, refined sound that feeds their listeners with a much deeper complexity than their earlier tracks. The guitar sounds that escape the pipeline in their opening track ‘Modern Way’ oozed with flawless spirit and energy that left me wanting more straight from the start. Fittingly named, The Shed Project have garnered a sense of modernity to their new soundscape.
And as I delved deeper into their album, it quickly became apparent that their early harks to Britpop and The Stone Roses have been put behind them, giving life to a new breed of music that the band can call their own. Initially a band that thrived in a studio made from a garden shed, the Bolton rockers are now more than worthy of greener grass with the release of this album.
Featuring songs that tell hometown stories such as ‘My Life’ and ones that speak of pastures new in the likes of ‘A Day In The Dam’, ‘The Curious Mind Of A Common Man’ also unleashes those early releases I was talking about earlier to highlight the transition that the band has gone through to get to where they are now.
And just to make sure it is known, I never said I disliked those earlier songs.
I was just afraid that the life expectancy of The Shed Project would be temporary. But with new sounds being added to the Bolton rocker’s expertise on a regular basis, they have gone from rags to riches in a dignified manner.
Or in this case, from Shed to stage.
Though not getting younger, The Shed Project has aged much like a fine wine. With their latest album proving any last remaining doubters wrong, it is now with excitement that I can say I’m looking forward to what they bring to the table next.
Soaring and sweeping guitars, bona-fide storytelling, and harmonious vocalism - This band from the shadows of Bolton are going places. It doesn’t matter when or where you start, it is completely down to your destination. And after being handed ‘The Curious Mind Of A Common Man’ to review, I believe they haven’t yet peaked, despite just how good this release turned out to be.