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Shook Ones - The Unquotable A.M.H. (Cover Artwork)

Shook Ones

Shook Ones: The Unquotable A.M.H.The Unquotable A.M.H. (2009)
Paper and Plastick

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: mikexdudemikexdude
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I'll be honest: Despite the particularly positive remarks for their various outputs (splits with Easel and End of a Year, a 7-inch, throw in a full-length or two), Shook Ones essentially did nothing for me. I'm sure it doesn't help that the whole Kid Dynamite / Lifetime rehashing that so many melodi.
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I'll be honest: Despite the particularly positive remarks for their various outputs (splits with Easel and End of a Year, a 7-inch, throw in a full-length or two), Shook Ones essentially did nothing for me. I'm sure it doesn't help that the whole Kid Dynamite / Lifetime rehashing that so many melodic hardcore bands seem to think is a good idea, makes me cringe. Blasphemy, I say! But being the awesome guy that I am, I gave The Unquotable A.M.H. a fair spin and what an omnipotent oscillation that disc was in; sure, the vocalist sounds like the perfect blend of Ari Katz and Jason Shevchuk, but the hooks and riffs have a very different personality that I can definitely say is "pure Shook Ones."

Unlike Lifetime or Kid Dynamite, the double-time abuse is nowhere to be seen. "For Collards" does introduce the album with considerable pacing, but only to lead into the heartfelt and mid-tempo "Birds on Ice." Clearly, in "Tip the Weatherman," the Shooks are even more dynamic than their two influences, having a full verse of nothing but a guitar and vocals that seem to echo against the studio walls. In short: This is the last time I ever want to hear those three bands in the same sentence. Let's save that for describing early Saves the Day.

The first five songs are all up-tempo, indecipherable and snotty; "Silverfish" is bouncy and the band at their most anthemic, shouting "I want us all to live in 1929" after a bridge lush with "whoa"s. Most anthemic, sure, but "Equal Opportunity Insults" with its very hard rock edge and breakdown and single note section to match, the band never really steps down from rousing tunes. The pinnacle of The Unquotable A.M.H. is "For Flannel," which has the most infectious melody on the album over-top a really fucking satisfying chord progression. This is the poppiest endeavor for sure; the octaves and vocal harmonies in the outro are just evidence they know how to write a downright catchy song.

While the first half is immediately accessible, the second is a grower that experiments more with riffs and song lengths that will render a subsequent "warming up to" in no time. The "Who told Omar?" riff is pretty ballsy, eventually leading into a speedy overdubbed, double-stop solo. "Double-Knot That" and "T-Monk" are minor, melancholic and slightly monotone, recalling some Jawbreaker moments and "They're Very 'Yes'" has a sugary opening riff that does, admittedly, come very close to self-titled-era Lifetime. To my disappointment, they don't go back to the riff until the end and it doesn't quite sound as cool as it could have. Their magnum opus, the aforementioned "Tip the Weatherman" is a tame tune that builds into a solid closing to the album and an extended drum outro.

Though sounding a bit "samey" the first run through, The Unquotable A.M.H. is proving to the punk world that Shook Ones aren't a Kid Dynamite cover band -- that they have an identity. That same identity has some of the catchiest moments of 2009.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Dear Landlord - Dream HomesThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Banner Pilot - CollapserThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundShook Ones - Facetious Folly FeatDillinger Four - C I V I L W A RAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyPolar Bear Club - Chasing HamburgThe Lawrence Arms - Buttsweat and Tears [7 inch]A Wilhelm Scream - Career Suicide

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
mikeladwig (December 9, 2009)

the lyrics on this record are amazing

and it's still fast. fuck yes.

mattdub (July 21, 2009)

I hope this album gets the widespread audience it deserves.

hayman (July 21, 2009)

This album is sweet. Good times.

xshoutoutx (July 19, 2009)

Mike, I remember trying to convince you about the awesomeness that are The Shooks... glad to see you came to your senses, this album is too good to pass up on. This is a close runner-up for album of the year, but it falls right behind 'Supporting Caste.' Anyway, every new release this band has done (split with End Of A Year aside) has progressively gotten better... no doubt about it! Now that these dudes are finally getting the recognition they deserve, I can't wait for them to tour outside of the Westcoast!

TahoeJeff (July 17, 2009)

I am loving this!

inagreendase (July 17, 2009)

Archangel, this is definitely a four-star record. No more (Shorter, Faster, Louder is a 9 to self-titled's 10; put it that way), no less (still has great songs).

My rvw: http://www.altpress.com/reviews/theunquotableamh.htm

cherrycolarain (July 16, 2009)

I hate to admit it, but Shook Ones have outdone Kid Dynamite. This album is flawless.

theproblemwithfire (July 16, 2009)

also, i want to say that every time i see the name of this record i think it says The unquotable A.T.M.' (ass to mouth)

that is all.

theproblemwithfire (July 16, 2009)

the hyperbole on this site surrounding certain stuff is incredible. I listened to both this and dream homes after seeing countless threads gushing about how incredible this was. It's ok in my opinion but still sounds far too much like Kid Dynamite to garner the comments that it has. Sounds like Kid Dynamite if they had stuck around for a few more years and added a few more nuances here and there. That's IT. Record of the year? HARDLY.

boxcar (July 16, 2009)

Loved most about the first 2 albums and the splits even more, but this album is, as mentioned, their step to develop kind of an own character. One of my faves this year so far!

@ victim: they had a cd version for sale at their recent euroshows, cause the vinyl wasn't out yet...

onegirlarmy (July 16, 2009)

All that aside though, this record is damn, damn good. Four stars for me.

onegirlarmy (July 16, 2009)

Bitching about a four star review? Come on, really? That's a damn high score to give. Just because you think it's perfect and someone else finds it near perfect, it's not that far off.

harekrishna (July 15, 2009)

shook ones are definitely carrying the torch with this release.

thornsoflife (July 15, 2009)

without a doubt, one of the best releases this year so far, with the exception of a couple tracks, this is a flawless album.
well done boys.

friokir (July 15, 2009)

oh, come on, there's no such thing as abusing double-time!

mikexdude (July 15, 2009)

Also archangel: I take a lot into account with stars; chasing hamburg maybe my number one album but i'd give it four stars from my first listen which is less than what I gave Castevet. As a reviewer, you have to look at certain things like song writing and how it compares to their last work even if you find say, simple pop punk like dream homes better. If you get what I am saying.

mikexdude (July 15, 2009)

Archangel: Considering I've heard Chasing Hamburg, that's the best thing I've heard, and Castevet's full length is second. Four stars is good, come on. Just because it's not on my number one spot doesn't mean my four stars ruin it for everyone.

mikexdude writes terrible reviews. how the hell is he staff?

Probably because I am the fucking man.

Archangel (July 15, 2009)

Only four stars? Really? Come on man, this is a contender for album of the year. What's it running against? And don't point to albums that haven't dropped yet.

xIxKilledxJesusx (July 15, 2009)

mikexdude writes terrible reviews. how the hell is he staff?

StephenMatthews (July 15, 2009)

Liking It

spec (July 15, 2009)

killer record.

mikexdude (July 15, 2009)

it´s funny that you couldn´t finish the review without mentioning Lifetime and Kid Dynamite AGAIN, although you said you didn´t wanna hear that comparison earlier in it.

I said I didn't want to hear the three bands in the same sentence ;)

Also, one song riff sounding like Lifetime ain't nuthin' and the last Kid Dynamite was a "DOES NOT SOUND LIKE...". But yeah

hobbzoid (July 15, 2009)

Love this record. Thinks they're better than Kid Dynamite.

24hourpriapism (July 15, 2009)

also agreed about the guitars in "Who Told Omar?"

such a great, sorta goofy, dynamic riff.

24hourpriapism (July 15, 2009)

@ victim: ehhh, sorta. officially paper & plastick aren't releasing a CD version at all. but it's part of the super special collector's whatever edition pack if you buy the vinyl. i think you get a code for the downloadable version as well. i dunno, i don't own a turntable so unfortunately i don't remember the particulars.

thus_spoke_sean (July 15, 2009)

really not into this record.

120db (July 15, 2009)

This album is their highest point so far.

acris (July 15, 2009)

permanent boner

android (July 15, 2009)

easily one of the best records 2009. great guys.

it´s funny that you couldn´t finish the review without mentioning Lifetime and Kid Dynamite AGAIN, although you said you didn´t wanna hear that comparison earlier in it.

GlassPipeMurder (July 15, 2009)

nice review for a band so underrated outside of this site.

MN_punkmaster-skaman (July 15, 2009)

While Lifetime is not on the scene, it's great for bands like this to fill the void, but add their own twists to melodic hardcore. Shook Ones best release thus far!

duffmancantbreatheohno (July 15, 2009)

Can't stop listening to this, it's the perfect soundtrack for driving around with your windows down during the summer.

mattramone (July 14, 2009)

T Monk = best song

DarrenMcLeod (July 14, 2009)

Great, great album. One of the best I've listened to this year.

IanIsSuperRad (July 14, 2009)

I'm not sure if any other album that will come out this year can top this. Fucking awesome. This album desereves a better review.

victim (July 14, 2009)

[@ blackjaw: if you buy the vinyl, you'll get a CD copy as well. no plans for a CD-only release though :(

So basically buying the vinyl is like buying the CD?

HankMurphy (July 14, 2009)

after listening to this album several times, i had to change my facetious folly feat review on amazon. i took out the kid dynamite/lifetime association. shook ones really have come into their own, and they sound great. absolutely love this album.

StrikinOutRecords (July 14, 2009)

Favorite Album of the year, hands down.

Rastid (July 14, 2009)

liked, but did not love, their past couple releases, but really did not dig this. one of my biggest disappointments of the year so far.

24hourpriapism (July 14, 2009)

@ blackjaw: if you buy the vinyl, you'll get a CD copy as well. no plans for a CD-only release though :(

still album of the motherfucking year. for me, anyway. and if you argue with me that means a very small part of you thinks what i say makes sense. which means you agree with me to a certain degree.

usversusthem (July 14, 2009)

Finally someone giving For Flannel some love. That song is unbelievably good... and the rest of the album ain't too shabby either. I feel like it may sneak into my top ten at year's end.

Blackjaw_x (July 14, 2009)

It might seem absurd to some of you guys, but I think this album easily tops anything done by Lifetime or Kid Dynamite. I do enjoy Lifetime quite a bit in smaller doses, but can't say the same for Kid Dynamite. And then this album kicks ass, so it must say something about them being more than a rehash of those bands.

spoon_of_grimbo (July 14, 2009)

someone posted a photo of a cd version of this during a vinyl/cd discussion on some P P related news... where can i get this on CD?

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