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Legendary Shack Shakers – Agridustrial

April 24, 2010 by  

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Legendary Shack Shakers – Agridustrial

NAME: Legendary Shack Shakers
ALBUM: Agridustrial
YEAR: 2010 (May 17th)
LABEL: Colonel Knowledge

FIVE WORD REVIEW: American dystopia, in musical form

LOCATION: Nashville, USA

LINE UP: J.D Wilkes (vocals/harp) / Duane Denison (guitars) / Mark Robertson (bass) / Brett Whitacre (drums)

WHAT’S THE STORY?: Got a holiday planned yet? Because if you’re thinking about hiring a fast open top car and driving the ol’ route 66 across The States, this album will perfectly soundtrack your trip. The endless desert bowls fade into the distance, as you plough through deserted farm towns, all with the sun relentlessly burning your neck. The stereo pumping out ‘Agridustrial’ tells you everything you need to know about these former packed and glorious outposts: heartland America became the one stop shop, the bulbous K-Mart and Wal-Mart Goliaths pincer every family business for miles in these places. And Legendary Shack Shakers have captured the loss and the anger felt by many right here.

This is their seventh album, and they sound tight as ever; only surpassed by a full-on energetic performance from frontman Wilkes who yelps, shouts and yodels his way through engrossing rockabilly (with emphasis on rock) rag ‘Sin Eater’ and ‘Dixie Iron Fist’, and delivers equally vibrant torrents of noise for ‘Everything I Ever Wanted To Do’. However, the whole thing sounds VERY much like Tom Waits, with its industrial sound effects and distorted drums and guitars. To which, it all gets a bit samey, and nothing really tugs the heartstrings or electrifies the hamstrings.

SOUNDS LIKE: Tom Waits in a Nevada lean-to. The anger here is just so unsubtle as to be at times off-putting; but if Hank Williams were alive today, not only would he be terribly old, he’d probably be making music like this.

YOU’LL LIKE THIS IF YOU LIKE: music with purpose, and songs that actually mean something more than getting the singer laid. But on the topic of a nation’s lost identity, you’d be better off with anything by Neil Young post-1990.

LINKS: Official Website // MySpace

– Owen Williams



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