New Music: SHRIMP Ring’s Interstellar Dance Party ‘Activate Your Function EP’

On an ordinary, boring day in 2016, with the bleakness of Saint John’s dim sky darkened to an unusually apocalyptic shade, a shadowy saucer descended from the overcast skies, bringing mad cosmic beats! There were some who danced and some who shoegazed. Others simply bobbed their craniums in what could only be interpreted as a sign of optimistic approval. Many, however, thought the planet itself to be doomed; then, a seductive voice boomed, “COME BACK TO MY PLACE.”

The SHRIMP Ring (Space-Hosted Rotating Inertial Manned Platform Ring) had made first contact! New Brunswick’s answer to the uber popular Tupperware Remix Party was at last upon us. The funk-tion had been activated, and we puny Earth-rangers could do nothing more than look on in humble awe and bewilderment.

The bizarre space spawn of electro enthusiasts Philip Clark and Dan Chamberlain is this nostalgic throwback to all things 80’s, musically, visually and mythology. Veterans of the local scene, the members had many former projects, including Jaguar Knight, A/V, Spinosa, Gold Punks, USSE and Wrote. Now, they have compared notes on their “memories of Earth” and embraced their intergalactic heritage to create something that sounds truly unique for artists from New Brunswick.

The band’s first EP, Humanity’s Last Chance, landed in September of 2016. Their followup, Activate Your Function, touched down in March of this year. Self described as “Space Goth Synth Disco” (seriously, listen to them and you’ll realize it’s a legitimate genre), the duo smoothly make the lightspeed jump between the satirical social commentary of Devo and the bubblegum pop anthems of the B-52’s. Between stellar systems, the vocal delivery is a stardusting of Talking Heads’ deadpan style.

Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that radio signals take so long to travel beyond our solar system, but it feels like Shrimp Ring is echoing the past. This is evidenced by the visitors’ first ever music video that dropped last month on Youtube. An exercise in low-budget film making, it harkens to decades past with purposely amateur editing effects, lo-fi 8-bit imagery, and campy costumes and props galore!

Truly, these signals are broadcast for the new wave/synth-pop lover of yesteryear!

On a regular basis, the alien immigrants spend most of their time trying to assimilate into human culture. Concentrating their exploratory efforts on bars and coffee shops, they have played a packed schedule of shows under the guise of entertaining impressionable “Science-Robots,” er, I mean… “earthlings.” On New Year’s Eve, they will be continuing their study of surface native behaviour at the Wilser’s Room in Fredericton, before secluding themselves to work on new “tunes” to be released sometime within the next 365 planetary rotations.

If you listen to their songs or watch their video, it should go without saying that their stage personas are eccentric. Theirs is not a performance to be missed!