Hailing from Leeds with a swagger in their stride, Unexploded Shells are quite clearly ensconced in the square marked "Classic Pop". Sounding not too dissimilar to current local bands such as Last Gang and The Pigeon Detectives, their influences can be traced back initially to the halcyon period of Britpop ('High Times' certainly has a whiff of Blur's spikier moments such as 'Advert' or 'Bank Holiday') and if you take a trip even further into the realms of time, the quintessentially English spark of people like the Kinks, The Jam and The Wedding Present also spring to mind.
That's not to say they have no ideas of their own of course. As already mentioned, the title track is a spunky, imaginative piece of guitar pop that is sadly all too short and sweet, while the closing 'End Of The Affair' takes Unexploded Shells into a more elegant setting where the water is clear enough to see the reflection of you own shoes, so to speak.
What they need to realise, of course, is where they see themselves long-term, as while it is commendable that this single shows three very different sides to the band's make-up ('If I Could Turn My Back' mixes cocksure Libertines riffs with a Suede-like panache), at no point does anything unique scream back either, and in this day and age where so many like-for-like artists exist, an identity truly belonging to one's self is an absolute necessity.
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.