Review: Grunge Pop Duo Stereoshifter Release Fuzz-Driven, Drum-Pounding Rock Record 'Whatever it is to You'

By: Norman Hittle

Denver duo Stereoshifter describe their sound, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, as “grunge pop.” What is this seemingly contradicting genre? You’ll have to listen to find out:

Check out Stereoshifter's latest single, "Catch Fire":

Whatever it is to You, the band’s sophomore EP, which drops this week, features three guitar-fuzz-driven, drum-pounding rock songs that seem to have come straight from the 90s. Of course, it’s hard not to jump to conclusions and find the EP reminiscent of Nirvana and The Vines, but upon deeper listening, there are also traces and snippets of inspiration from acts ranging from Dinosaur Jr. to Weezer.

Stereoshifter.

Stereoshifter.

Following the release of their Dumb Luck EP (2016), Stereoshifter, which is Josh Cal (vocals/guitars) and Peter Higgins (drums), continued to write, record, and create new music. Starting 2017 with a brand-new single “All I Can Stand,” the two-piece is now closing out the summer with Whatever it is to You.

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The EP is produced by the band, and starts out with the heavy and frantically anthemic “It’s Not You, it’s Me” that gives the kickstart needed to keep listening. The single “Catch Fire” comes in at track two and starts out with a very Thin Lizzy-esque “Boys Are Back in Town” riff before going into a pseudo Green Day-sounding chorus. The final track is the more mellow “Spoon Fed,” which I feel really caters the most to the traditional grunge vibe with a touch of post-rock for good measure due to its droning and sludgy riffs.

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In their live performance, the two musicians adopt the approach to IAMDYNAMITE and similar rock duos of overlapping guitar and bass tracks, making it possible to sound like a four-piece act. Though minimalistic in setup, anyone who has seen any of these bigger acts can attest that the sound is anything but minimal.

Check out Stereoshifter at the Hi-Dive with OverUnder this Thursday, August 31st to hear their new EP; tickets and event info here. Keep up with Stereoshifter on their Facebook.

-Norman

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.