The ShakeDowns - Move (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The ShakeDowns

Move (2002)


The ShakeDowns are a rock and roll band with plenty of punk energy. They somehow manage to sound simultaneously hedonistic and honest, which is quite a feat considering their material. There's a love of bare-bones rock and roll that fills their songs with big riffs, proud solos and lyrical swagger. With lyrics about chasing women and stories from the bar, the ShakeDowns display the a kind of self-confidence that puts them pretty close to Danko Jones in terms of style and attitude. 

I'm tempted to label the ShakeDowns as a garage band, and while fans of the Strokes and the Hives will surely get a kick out of this album, the band takes more from Kiss and AC/DC then they do from the Velvet Underground and the Stooges. There's a noticeable and conscious backlash against the sensitive, melancholy trend in recent indie music. Take these few lines from "Move" as an example: "The band was cool / I asked my friend 'what do you think?' / He said he's jaded and he just wants to drink / He started telling me the history of the scene / so move motherfucker! so I can dance!". Its silly at times, but the band is conscious of this and much of its done tongue-in-cheek. There's nothing the ShakeDowns play that couldn't have been written in the 70s, but that's part of their charm and probably their goal.

"Retail Jail" has rollicking verses and great breakdowns. The title track "Move" shows the band can pull off some great songwriting that injects something new into their tried and tested style. "Come With Me" rocks with fantastic momentum and a shout-along chorus. "All The Girls" bounces along with a soulful groove and some great backing harmonies. There are times when Davey Bell's vocals seem to lack the punch they need, but this isn't too much of a problem as the band backs the lead vocals well. Its barely noticeable after the first track. 

All in all, the ShakeDowns are incredibly fun to listen to and probably a blast live. Fans of the New Bomb Turks or the new soul-rock from the Gadjits should definitely check this out. If you enjoy the 70s groove of the Pietasters this should be right up your alley. If you're looking for something deep and profound, look elsewhere, but The ShakeDowns are having too good a time rocking out to care.