In Gear With… Shift-D.

Shift-D – Burlington, Ontario, Canada.


Shift-D are certifiable veterans. They are band that have existed in their own Punk-Rock world for the past seventeen years and finally they are a band that have seen somewhat of a resurgence in the past two years.

With five releases dated from the year 2000, 2002, 2005, 2013 and then 2015 the band have now signed to an upstart label we have seen before in the form Thousand Islands Records and Thousand Islands are set to release the brand new Shift-D record very, very soon.

But who are Shift-D? Well if I were to entice the Punk music-minded I would list the bands support slots first, which just happen to include names such The Flatliners, Bigwig, the Misfits, Guttermouth and Beldevere just to name a few.

I would then suggest a number of “For Fans of” references which would probably include Pulley, Implants, Strung Out and a plethora of other 90’s and 90’s-esque Punk, Skate Punk and Pop-Punk bands. That should give you a rough idea of where this band have sat and now thankfully sit again.

Shift-D can create fast Skate Punk that simply sings to itself up and down the half-pipe about whatever comes to mind, they can write an old-school Pop-Punk love song that is bitter sweet it its melodies before it is supplanted by fist-pumping Punk and Melodic Hardcore tendencies forcing themselves to the surface.

This is a strength to Shift-D’s back-catalogue as they never sit themselves to close to one camp, rather in the middle to draw stylistically from them all simultaneously. The band themselves cite their past selves are “young” and “poppy” which is a fair statement, but if you haven’t got roots, how are you going to grow? A statement especially true in the world of Punk-Rock music.

2004 saw the four track The Illusion Of Sight and Sound EP and a much more anthemic sound a few steps away from the frantic old-school Hardcore/Pop-Punk Lifetime-esque sound up until that point. Lyrically speaking you are hit with far harder and aware band choosing to sacrifice snotty topics and pace for a serious edge.

Musically speaking tracks such as ‘Eyes Like Radar’ and ‘One Thousand Pieces’ opt for this more melodic Punk that fans of latter-day Rise Against would well enjoy. Shift-D experiment with a far more complex sound that is as jagged and precise as it is soaring and melodic, taking their roots and applying a thick coat of maturity. The biggest surpirse of this release was the soft ballad of ‘The Heartache Of William Robinson’, showing Shift-D as a different band entirely.

2013’s Atelophilia was a product of a band recently returned off hiatus and it was not until 2015’s Battle On Your Own, an album that has been re-released by Thousand Islands Records recently, that everything came together.

Battle Your Own is the sound of a band that have tried and tested their methods, collated their influences and above all (again) matured along the way. Musically it takes the moody and anthemic melodic Punk of The Illusion Of Sight and Sound and its conviction and hardens both the sound and the agenda.

That’s not to say the upbeat and honest Punk is entirely absent, ‘No Angel’ and ‘A-OK’ are little tributes to a Shift-D gone by and refined by their contemporary incarnation. ‘Burn’ and ‘Take Me Home’ take this sound and mature it in a away that sounds akin to the fist pumping community songs of the latter-day Bouncing Souls.

Having had my history lesson on Shift-D and having moved with them through the chronology of their Punk-Rock sound, I have nothing but anticipation for 2017’s release.

Find the band and Thousand Islands Records below:


Matthew Speer

Matt has 2.1 BA in History and is most likely somewhere in his twenties. He enjoys a wide range of music, but has a strong penchant for Punk-Rock. Originally he hails from the Isle Of Wight off the South Coast of England, UK and spends most of his time around England's South-West.

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