Oakland-based duo Shutups palpitate from their indie-punk threshold to the confinements of garage rock on their latest single “Cement Hands.” What began as a friendship in college — to the gradual break due to distance, and renewal through a medical emergency — frontman Hadley and drummer Mia’s natural connection and discord are endless fuel for their growing sound.
As Hadley suffered from Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a rare medical condition in which one’s skin is burned off from the inside, time left for cultivation, writing, and a centered direction, that now sees the band straying away from EPs and onto their upcoming debut full-length, Every Day I’m Less Zen. With “Cerement Hands” released as their second single, listeners can very well gather that the pair are offering more than angst and indie-punk riffs, but a filling snapshot of time and commercially underground cuts.
Coming from Mia’s childhood nickname, which was given by her mother due to Mia’s unintentionally strong sibling punches, “Cement Hands” nods at the juvenile dread and manages to still polish the rough edges. Propelling to more mature throes of life, the track also pens a metaphor of a lover brutally crushing your heart with their cement hands, which is fitting to say the least.
Drenched in slacker vocals, infectious hooks, and hefty drumming that balance control and attack, “Cement Hands” bud from garage rock but sincerely holds so much more. Pairing with a live action video of seasoned actors mouthing and strumming to the band’s audio, the Braith Miller’s direction somehow reflects a re-birthing of the band and current happy-go-lucky demeanor.