SHVPES – Greater Than
It may be Greater Than by name, but Birmingham outfit SHVPES' sophomore effort is unfortunately quite far from being a great record
SHVPES' sophomore album Greater Than is a record that demands a lot of patience, and without much reward either.
Despite being full of headbang-worthy moments, there are also a host of truly God-awful ones. 'There’ll be no coming back when there’s cum on your back from someone else' sings frontman Griffin Dickinson on Someone Else – perhaps the worst line to come out of 2018, only made worse by the big-dick-energy rant about a cheating ex that sounds like the ramblings of someone getting kicked out of a club at 3am. That’s just a taster of the lyricism you get on the record, sadly one of its biggest flaws. Other moments let the LP down too, like the strange, unfitting R'n'B interval of Two Wrongs, No Rights, and just generally overplaying the generic ‘rock album’ vibe – from the sterotyped fists-in-the-air feel to Hey Brother, to silly answerphone messages on Counterfeit, to the often reoccurring, outright cringeworthy choices of insults and general ‘mother-fucker’ing.
It'd be unfair to say it's all totally negative, however. When Dickinson is spitting his rapid-fire, rap/scream bars across meaty strings and throbbing beats, like on Calloused Hands and stomping single Undertones, the record is truly at its best. Yet, when you dig a little deeper, it’s pretty clear that just doing the core aspect of what rap-metal is supposed to do, to a somewhat good degree, is no saving grace for a poorly orchestrated album.
If you bypass all of the record's imperfections, you might find some decent hooks and tricky guitar work, but this is so far distorted by the negatives that it’s hard to appreciate fully. In short, Greater Than is just not the album its title teases it to be.
Listen to: Calloused Hands, Undertones, Afterlife