Listening to this album for weeks has only made writing this review harder. Initially, I thought "I get it, they're good, I'll review this." Now, I feel it. I don't know that I can write adequately about how much, and why, I like this, but I have to try.
I worked in live sound for years. I've heard it all. Almost no one is as good as they think they are. Everyone treated me--who controlled everything about their sound--terribly. The pay sucked. The patrons mostly hated me, spilled beer on me, or groped me. A few times a year an act would come in and make it all worthwhile. Their mere existence improved my life. Those groups made me feel sad too. There must be so much amazing music in the world that I'll never know. If I still worked the club/bar scene, Little Shells could definitely be that "few times a year" act.
On 5 Deep Under, Little Shells does something that only the best, and biggest, acts of all time manage. "I'll Remain" is the single. It's a good choice, but so are four other tracks. I want to hear all five of those songs regularly on Pandora, in advertisements, in movies, and at the end of HBO's Girls. And three other songs are close to flawless too; they just might not work in any pop space.
Sonically--technically, musically, and somewhat vocally--this thing is all over the place, but it's awesome. That said, I'd hope to see them push more--take more chances on a future project.
Life is weird. I listened to the first track. I didn't like the mix--the vocals ride high. Then, I heard some not purposeful pitch problems. I almost didn't review it. Now, I can't wait to use these songs on a podcast, in a web show or film. Simply stated, this is the best I've heard so far in 2015.