North Auckland trio Shady Brain Farm are best described as an eerie blend of ska and dub reggae that could break out into The Strokes-like proto hip coolness, with Dick Dale giving them a hand up at any moment. These guys are not content with sticking to the rules. There are moments you think Straitjacket Fits are applying some undue influence from beyond the grave, only to be confronted with a ’90s art punk vibe. It’s confusing, but in the best possible way. The rhythm section of drummer Paul Taylor and Chris Vaughan on bass does a great job switching this way and that. I keep coming back to the idea that despite their improbable name this band has something of the essence of the great mod band The Jam. This EP is a visceral, kick out the jams coupled with some doubt and confusion lyrically. The music and lyrics are thought out and with a distinctly NZ take on throwing down a spiralling lead break. The backline stands up to whatever Ben Furniss‘ guitar throws at them. Melodically there is the right amount of light and shade. Their next album, if anything like this, should be a cracker.