By Tanner Meadows
Artist: The Shifts
Album: Yet Another Change of Plans
Release Date: May 9, 2018
Label: Blue Eggplant Records
The Shifts’ most recent release, Yet Another Change of Plans, is the latest addition to the indie-rock outfit’s discography. The group’s self titled 2016 release helped establish themselves as one of Eugene, Oregon’s up and coming bands; frontman Macks Johanesen having been active in the area’s DIY scene since 2011. The band consists of Johanesen (guitar/vocals), Jeff Kretskinger (bass), Eli Tocchini (drums/backing vocals), and Maci DeBlanc (guitar/keys/vocals).
Self described as “dad rock for the kids,” The Shifts deliver a sound that is consistently laid back yet driven, maintaining a high-energy, introspective atmosphere throughout the five-track EP. Their guitar work is fun and interesting but not so mathematical as to make it twinkly. It’s powerfully focused on melody and harmony overall sounding very much like a band that I can confidently assume has played a couple of shows in a couple of basements.
Track one, “America, Pt. 2,” steadily builds energy, occasionally being spiked by more sonically assertive moments, blending into a relaxing and purposefully paced sound. The pattern continues into “Bowie,” a track with a feeling of airy aggressiveness, and through the acoustic ballad, “Friday Nights Are for Families.” The fourth track, “Cigarettes and Weed,” takes its time building anticipation, utilizing chugging bass and drums, and featuring DeBlanc’s expressive vocals toward the peak of the song. The last track, “Is It Snowing Today?” is the popish finale to this brief but fun and resonant listen.
Overall, Yet Another Change of Plans is a versatile record passive enough while still maintaining an energy of excitability, an affectationally fun and emotionally honest sound packed into a tight frame of time.