Shun, Shun (Small Stone Records 2021)

The debut album from North Carolina rockers Shun casts a wide net.

Working throughout 2020, Jeff Baucom (bass), Matt Whitehead (vocals and guitar), Rob Elzey (drums), and Scott Brandon (guitar) managed to put together an album recorded in pieces throughout a residence from the basement to the garage. After the recording and mixing was finished, you cannot point to any significant deviations from an hypothetical studio creation. It is a job well done.

The music is a sort of fuzzy power pop metal with plenty of quiet moments. “Run,” for example, is a melodic pop metal song with a sleepy segment and “Sleepwalking” takes us back a few decades and turns up the fuzz a notch. In both these cases, whether intentional or not, the coordinated elements crossover for broad appeal.

“At Most” is the first big construction of the album, three songs in. It shows compositional complexity and conceptual nuance and depth. Later, there is “Undone,” a ballad, and “A Wooden House,” a more forceful power ballad. The band is walking to all the corners of the stage, leaving no space lonely.

The set sees a strong finish with “Heese” where we hear the best lead break of the album and “Once Again,” which is a bluesy wave-off with clever intermittent riffs. The amount of ground covered on Shun is impressive in itself, and well establishes the abilities of the musicians to create and deliver a heavy rock sound that is widely inclusive.

Later this week you can pick a copy of Shun – Friday June 4th – on CD, vinyl, or digital.




Small Stone Records,

Shun, Shun (Small Stone Records 2021)