With a name like The Electric Shakes and monochrome artwork like they have it was clear, even before I heard debut ‘single’ Lightspeed Mother, what sort of thing this band’s debut EP would contain – and I certainly wasn’t disappointed.
Starting as means to go on with the r’n’b driven, fuzz drenched, garage rock of Go, The Electric Shakes instantly evoke the sounds of the late 60s, but with their own twist. Go itself is an upbeat, punchy opener that sets out their stall of doing exactly what they want, how they want, in the most positive of ways.
Before you’ve got over this first burst Get Loose kicks in and ups the speed, building on Go’s strong start before we get a dose of garage blues with Get On Love. Across these three tracks a strong vein of psyche is also present whenever S’s guitar has the chance to let loose which keeps things interesting as the instrumental sections throb by.
Daddy’s Girl throws a bit of a curveball into the mix with a mod-soul flavour combined with something of early 90s Brit-rock, but still with S’s guitar bringing the garage-fuzz to proceedings.
This is all topped off with the aforementioned Lightspeed Mother that seems custom-built for driving fast cars on open roads in a way that I can only imagine would get heads nodding and bodies shaking when the band play live.
Across the EP S’s vocals have that odd combination that marks out a lot of this style, in that are at once aloof yet engaging (much like The Cryptics demonstrate on Black Lucy) and the words themselves are just as catchy as the tunes making for some instant sing-along moments.
While that rounds off the digital edition, for those who splashed out on a physical copy of the EP there is a bonus track. Test of Time adds another string to The Electric Shakes sonic bow, slowing things down and adding something of a Black Sabbath vibe to proceedings it gets a groove going under the fuzzy guitars.
While The Electric Shakes is certainly all a bit retro in its influences, the production is surprisingly crisp and modern, and there’s no sense that this is an ironic pastiche of past sounds as the punk-y and garage-y combination are delivered with a conviction that make for a great debut and has made me eager to hear what more The Electric Shakes have to offer, and to see them live.