Shader’s new single Drop The Weapon is perhaps the band’s most vital track in their arsenal

From November 2020 to November 2023, a total of 2,271 knife crimes were recorded by Staffordshire Police. That’s, on average, around two a day over the last three years, with almost half of those taking place in Stoke-on-Trent. But now, Stoke-on-Trent indie rock outfit Shader are using their latest single as a cry for change.

Following two huge new singles so far this year, Satellite and Pulse, Shader’s latest record, Drop The Weapon, solidifies the band’s growing presence in Stoke-on-Trent and the wider UK music scene.

Speaking on the new single, frontman Stu Whiston said: “This track is an anthem for change on the increasing rise of weapon related violence prevalent on the streets. The lyrics describe the tension of home life and the seemingly inevitability of the youth lashing out on a conditioned society that seems powerless.”

A spiky guitar intro pierces through the wall of pounding bass and drums that echo similarly working-class bands like The Enemy, while Whiston’s vocals are delivered with a passionate edge that drives the message home. As we’ve come to expect with this rock ‘n’ roll ensemble, Drop The Weapon doesn’t disappoint with a chorus that’s as catchy as it is chilling. It’s chantable, festival-ready, knees-up energetic – but that underlying meaning laces it with a sense of desperation and intensity.

The production is tight, with each instrument given space to shine while contributing to the overall urgency of the track. And what’s more is that it translates brilliantly to a live setting, particularly those chaotic, guitar-heavy outros.

As Shader continues to build on their success from their 2022 debut album Everything is Connected, which stormed into the UK Top 40 independent album charts, Drop The Weapon is a clear indicator that the band has much more to say and accomplish. There’s a real weight to this timely track and a poignancy in essentially, calling for ceasefire. For me, it’s clear that Drop The Weapon is perhaps Shader’s most vital track in their arsenal.

With upcoming festival appearances at The Great Escape, Y Not, and Beyond The Music, SHADER is poised to make a significant impact in 2024.

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