Short Stack formed in New South Wales, Australia in 2005. The band released 2 albums before going their separate ways in 2012. They then reformed in 2014 and released their third album before disbanding for a second time in 2015. The band subsequently reformed again in 2020 and Maybe There's No Heaven is the spoils of their latest regrouping. It is also the first album the band have released via UNFD.
The band have described this album as their most authentic release, I am unfamiliar with their previous work so can’t comment on whether I think that's true but I can say they have a very well formed, well structured sound that screams passion. I was suitably impressed.
Maybe There's No Heaven is the second record in as many weeks that has confused me upon first listen. The 49 second intro which shares the same name as the album sounds remarkably 90’s boy band esque and left me thinking “please not pop music.” I try not to delve into too much research before listening to albums by artists I don't know so I don't have any preconceived ideas about what I’m going to hear so upon hearing this intro I had no reason to think this wasn't what the whole album was going to be like. I was wrong, thank goodness!
The album is pop punk, exceptional pop punk at that. Anthemic, riff heavy songs with big, catchy danceable choruses. As one song ended I was left excited to see what the next had in store. No weak points on this album, just one great song after another. I found myself having to resist the urge to take my hair down and headbang (I’d like to say that was an exaggeration but it's not!) Short Stack have a very polished yet not over produced sound which I think would sound incredible live!
Fairly standard Pop Punk themes of love, loss and relationships reign throughout Love You Like I Used To being a particularly good example of this however, as with so many albums of this genre it's the type of record that the more you listen the more you’ll unpack from it. I find with most Pop Punk on the surface it's one thing and it takes many many listens to get the full context. There are certain Pop Punk records I’ve heard a hundred times and every time I get something new from them. I think that the beauty of the genre it's as much or a little as you want it to be.
Album highlights for me are Sunshine, Shinigami, and Dancing with the Devil all just feel massive and caught my full attention from the first note. The band's sound is reminiscent of Blink 182 and Sum 41 yet they also bring their own uniqueness, maybe this is in part being a Pop Punk band from Australia rather than the States.
I love this record and know I will listen to it a lot but I want to say I’m excited to hear their older material. If the band have admitted this is their first authentic release I think I may just stick Maybe There’s No Heaven on repeat instead.
Maybe There's No Heaven is OUT NOW!