It’s nothing you can define with words, but most local Savannah bands have a very distinct sound. Maybe it’s a southern twang in the vocals, maybe it’s a slower drum beat worn down from years of excessive heat, or maybe it’s the be-bopping way the guitarist bounces from chord to chord. Whatever it is, it’s unequivocally, undeniably a Savannah thing, and perhaps that’s the reason why SHAPES & Their Names stands out so much in my mind when I begin to think about new local musicians: They sound like something different, they sound like something new.
Originally united under the name The Young Seniors, SHAPES & Their Names (S&TN) consists of Tyler Kelley, Zach Pavey, and Lee Jasmin. Savannah locals but not natives, S&TN often jams at The Wormhole (see my previous article on Savannah’s growing venue here) during open mic nights. If you haven’t caught them yet, you’ve been missing out on one of the best new bands to come out of the area in a while. To me, personally, they sound like what would happen if the Velvet Underground had decided one day to listen to nothing but Modest Mouse and Weezer for an entire year.
I was lucky enough to recently receive an Untitled EP from the band a few days ago, and while it blatantly states Rough Mix 1 on the cover, I haven’t heard music this clean come out of local musicians in years. Kelley and Pavey alternate guitar, bass, and vocals, while Jasmin directs them with his drums, the entirety of their sound swirling together in a harmony that is both catchy and intriguing, reminiscent of music you always knew you liked but could never put a finger on just exactly why.
My personal favorite track, “Can Do!”, clocks in at number three on the EP, but it’s easily the cleanest and most grabbing song on the album. Both upbeat and flowing, “Can Do!” invites listeners to throw away their depression and their “won’t-do” attitudes, urging them to show a “can-do” mentality, reassuring them that while nothing is perfect, there is still more inside you than meets the eye. It’s a beautiful message wrapped up in a radio-quality catchy song, which is something that’s almost impossible to find nowadays.
I wish nothing but the best for SHAPES & Their Names. I want these guys to become rock stars, because they deserve it. The talent is there, the dedication is there, and the drive is there. Keep your eyes peeled on local venues, because I promise you, you won’t want to miss their next performance.
SHAPES & Their Names can be found on Facebook.