EP Review: Millie Manders & the Shutup – Shutup

Millie Manders & the Shutup – Shutup out September 21st


“Press release! Cross genre punk outfit MILLIE MANDERS AND THE SHUTUP will release their eagerly anticipated new EP ‘Shutup’ on the 21st September 2018.”

Every press release is designed to make you feel like you’re missing out if you don’t buy the next single, EP, or album. But are you really? What you want isn’t a press release, it’s a review. Are you missing out by not having the next EP by Millie Manders and the Shutup? We’ll answer that question shortly, first let’s give you an idea of what to expect from the EP. You get four tracks and it truly is best described as cross genre punk. You have elements of punk attitude, mixed with ska, folk, pop, jazz, blues, metal… quite a mix of influences. Best of all each track is very different while still being recognisably Millie Manders.

Right To Life is an almost jaunty ska infused treatise on animal rights. It flips perceptions and asks the awkward question of how would we feel to be treated the way that we treat the animals that we share this planet with. In classic Millie Manders style the vocals switch between almost rapping, to singing, to snarling growls, as Millie exclaims that the right to life isn’t just ours to own, the king of the jungle reduced to handbags and coats. It’s a fun track with a serious message, that our disregard for the environment has serious consequences as we destroy the planet in our quest to exploit everything on it, including some of the most endangered species.

Next up Brave looks at the absurdities of modern life, how we’re tied down to the routines just to survive and how life holds us back and takes us to the breaking point. But it’s not a depressing song, it’s about how we can be brave enough to say a big fuck you to the norms of society to grab about what really matters and recreate a better society where we’re not numbers fed into the system and no longer controlled by the powers that be.

The strangely titled Lollipops is on a firm punk footing being an anti-war song, but as with most songs by Millie it’s done with an intelligence and wit that sets it apart. It sets the blame firmly on the western world for creating the refugee crisis that we’ve seen over the past few years, how our wars in foreign countries has displaced families from their homes and when these refugees quite rightly demand to be treated as humans, with a right to safety and a life without fear, are then turned away by the very people who have taken everything from them. It’s an astounding track showing both a level of empathy and compassion, coupled with an understanding of the geo-political situation that has created the refugees that we are turning our backs on, that belies the band’s youth. There’s no naivety in the lyrics, just a stark reality that the western world must stand up and take account of their actions.

The last track is One That Got Away. Compared to the rest of the EP this is an almost whimsical song looking at relationships. It’s catchy chorus I’ll be the one that got away drives the song forward as we see the post-relationship reflection in the verses. It’s a song for anyone who wonders how things went wrong in a relationship, but it doesn’t dwell on it. It simply states that they both got away, no recrimination, no jealousy. It almost accepts that like much in life things change, even when things can look perfect in a relationship. We’re left wondering how things stand between the once erstwhile lovers, but the sense is there that as well as taking two to form a relationship, it can take two to step away from it.

So the question of whether or not you’ll be missing out by not having this EP is answered quite simply. The short answer is yes. The slightly longer answer is you should absolutely listen to this EP. It’s fun, catchy, intelligent, empathic, and bloody brilliant.