Monday, October 6, 2014

Beth’s Music Moment: Shake Before Us

Shake Before UsIt seems like this is on the verge of turning into a music blog, doesn’t it? That’s not my intention. It’s just that at this moment in time, it is what I am obsessed consumed with. I’m revisiting old favorites as well as finding new bands to show some love.

This band falls into the latter category. I don’t recall now how I came across them. It might have been one of the satellite radio channels, or maybe it was Amazon’s new music feature, or maybe it was via a free download site whose mailing list I am on. Whatever the reason, I’m glad I found them, because I was immediately in love!

I found their website and ordered a CD/t-shirt combo. I got an email from Will, who plays keyboards and sings co-lead, and he said they were out of the women’s size I wanted, so did I want a refund, did I want another CD…? What would I prefer? After a little discussion, I went with both of their CDs, resulting in a slight refund. That was the perfect choice, because I absolutely love both of them!

Shake Before Us is out of San Diego, and they have been active since 2010. Their first album (self-titled) came out in 2011, and their most recent, “Radio Time Bomb” came out in August of 2014. They’ve got a fantastic sound that is a throwback to ‘60s garage bands, but with a bit of a harder edge. Bonus: THEREMIN! Yes, the theremin is listed as one of the instruments played by the drummer, and personally, I don’t want to live in a world without theremins. Major props to any band that tosses a little theremin into the mix! The keyboards are a big part of their music, and it really adds to their garage band sound. I like my keyboards like I like my men: loopy, jangly, and a little fuzzy. Wait, that doesn’t really make sense….

Anyway, the first album sounds raw and fresh. It was apparently recorded live directly to a reel-to-reel, and if this is what they sound like live, I have got to see them at some point! My favorite tracks on the first album are “All Day And Night,” “Angels of Altamont,” and “Devil May Care.” But no lie...they are ALL good.

The second album sounds a little more polished, and a little harder. Personal favorites are “Figure It Out,” “You Started It,” “It’s What You Wanted,” and “Gottago!!!” “Button Up My Black Shirt” is also tasty. Again, they are all good. Not a bad track on either album, in my opinion. Whether you like your music more raw or more polished is a matter of taste. I say, “Why can’t we have both?”

One of the great joys in my life is finding something that seems like it was made just for me. A perfect combination of things I love. I’ve encountered a few books like that, that’s how I feel about “The Walking Dead,” and that’s how this band struck me. So thanks for forming and playing songs just for me, guys! Ha! I hope a lot of other people check them out and decide that they like them, too.

As an aside, I would like to have it on record that one of my pet peeves is when people say, “There’s no good music out there nowadays.” First of all, stop using the word ‘nowadays,’ because it makes you sound like a grumpy old person. Second, I call bullshit! There is all kinds of good music out there right now, and lots of bands that are working hard and really bringing it. But if you expect to hear it on a Top 40 radio station, you are barking up the wrong soundwave, my friend. That IS mostly crap music, but there are more great sounds in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your little radio philosophy. Get out there and look for it. Seek it out. Go hear local bands. We’ve got a great music scene going on right here in South Bend, Indiana and the surrounding area. The truth is out there. It is up to you to find it...because it’s not going to come to you. A true seeker will look and will find.

[stepping down off my soapbox]

Check out a couple of videos and see what you think. I know my musical tastes aren’t for everyone, but I am really diggin’ these guys, and I think you might like them, too! First, “All Day And Night” from the first album, followed by “It’s What You Wanted” from the follow-up, “Radio Time Bomb.” TURN IT UP!