Shady Bug Packs a Punch on Sophomore Effort 'Lemon Lime'

Shady Bug’s sophomore LP Lemon Lime is the sharp, punchy, and downright exciting indie rock album we’ve all been waiting for.

Photo by Mabel Suen

Photo by Mabel Suen

The flawless marriage of Tom Krenniing’s growling guitar, Todd Anderson’s rumbling bass, and Aaron O’Neill’s tight drum lines with Hannah Rainey’s warm vocal melodies & guitar is what sets the group apart from the pack. Each song on the record effortlessly shifts between Rainey’s earnest and rich vocal up against storms of fuzz and pedal-heavy instrumentals. The result is a 9-track record that is undoubtedly impressive and endlessly dynamic.

The album’s first single, “Make It Up” was Shady Bug’s first release since their 2017 debut tbh idk, and it sets the tone for the rest of the record immediately. The track explodes into a wall of fuzzy and foggy distortion, dominated by furious guitar and cymbal-heavy drums. As soon as it starts, however, the storm breaks. Jagged guitar riffs cut through the noise, ushering in the chorus with Rainey’s sweet vocals joining in soon after. The contrast between the track’s catchy guitar and vocal melodies and the crashing full band is only a hint of the loud-quiet-loud dynamic that the rest of the record masterfully carries.

The St. Louis 4-piece strikes the perfect balance of soft and booming, seamlessly swinging between distortion and clarity on tracks like “Lucky” and “Whining”. Covering themes of existential angst and personal stagnation, there is an underlying sense of urgency throughout the record. Rather than succumbing to the pressures and expectations of living in our modern society, Shady Bug feeds off of the fear and anxiety. Their restless energy is heard especially on tracks “Make It Up” and “Flake”, only to be complemented by the slower and more brooding tracks like “Spooky” and “Flood Song”.

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By the end of the record, it becomes abundantly clear that Shady Bug isn’t going to be listened to passively. Their sonically dynamic and rich tracks shift between shimmery and thundering, inviting us to explore the many flavors Shady Bug has to offer.

Lemon Lime is out today, via Exploding In Sound Records. They will be joining us in Austin, TX for Untitled Fest next week!

-Isobel Mohyeddin




Delaney Motter