Album Review: “The Shake Go Crazy”

I’ve been holding on to this one a while – it’s been edited slightly for the sake of relevance…

This past December (2009) New York City-based quartet, The Shake, released their third LP. This latest record, “The Shake Go Crazy,” marks, not a departure, but an evolution and a sign of maturity from the band. Something that has sadly become typical of far too many bands is the tendency to release one awesome album and then come up short on the next. Fortunately, this album far surpasses the band’s previous releases, which, by the way, are both very good in their own right (“Kick It,” 2007 and “Well, Oh Well,” 2008).

A particular honed and crafted wildness envelopes the brilliant 8-track LP – barely an LP, but a tad long to be an EP. The run-time comes in at just under half an hour. So, not only does each song have tremendous replay value, but the album itself does, especially when considering the extraordinary subtleties and barely-noticeables throughout. With “The Shake Go Crazy,” you’ve got 12-bar blues, punchy (almost-)power pop, unmitigated screaming Rock and a dash of odd time signature Prog, all ornamented with studio banter and occasional coughs in the background. Oh, you’ve also got what I’m surely going to nominate for Song of the Year 2010 – though it should have been in the running last year – in “Got No Soul,” the last track on the album. (Music video included below.)

Our friends over at The Deli Magazine named these guys Best Emerging Alt Rock Band of 2009 in NYC. And that’s a difficult thing to disagree with. I haven’t had the fortune of seeing them live yet, (wouldn’t you know they were playing with Black Taxi at those damn Theatre Shows I missed!) though I plan on doing so very soon, but I just have a feeling that they might be just as good, if not better, on stage as on record. It’s increasingly rare this days to get a true Rock band that records like, well, a Rock band, and not like, well, pussies – polished pussies, nonetheless. Jon Merkin’s voice is scratchy, it’s honest and it’s powerful. Eliad Shapiro effortlessly invokes the spirit and style of Page and Gilmour without approaching copycat territory (careful, DFH, careful). Bassist Jeremy Stein keeps things simple and drummer Vish Kumar, who is a powerhouse.

Guest appearance by NY Scenesters Ezra Huleatt of Black Taxi (“Pop Goes The…”), Tash Neal of The London Souls (“Merry Musket Reprise”) and Matt Butler of Reckless Sons (“Timebomb”) put the final touches on an excellent album.

Thank the Lord I finally got to publish this baby. This blog has been awfully negative lately, but it’s hard not to be with so much over-hyped, blindly-worshipped horseshit out there. Luckily, for all you who really do love Rock n Roll – yes, even little dirty fucking hipsters can appreciate a guitar solo and even little dirty fucking hipsters like some energy in their music – The Shake deliver an absolute knockout with “Go Crazy.” Very much worth the $10 off iTunes, even in this economy. -DFH

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3 Responses to “Album Review: “The Shake Go Crazy””

  1. Carl Says:

    Right on!

    Here’s to 2010 being the year of the shake

  2. Todd Says:

    Really impressed with this Album. Looking forward to hearing a lot more of them soon!

  3. Samantha Says:

    Love it! Can’t get “Got no Soul” out my head!

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