The Blind Shake - Celebrate Your Worth

by Steve Reynolds Rating:7 Release Date:2016-10-21

Minneapolis’ The Blind Shake make thick viscous music with all the density and intensity of three blokes at the end of their musical tether. Fronted by brothers Jim and Mike Blaha they’re joined by their mate Dave Roper on drums. They’ve been together for quite a while and are six albums to the good but it’s probably only been the last two years since they’ve come to prominence this side of the pond.  This is their new LP ‘Celebrate Your Worth’ and shows the band have lost none of their malevolent passion and aggression as they power through with nine tracks that are slick with a minimal amount of flab and paunch.

They sting us early with the call and response of ‘I shot the birds’, a huge gigantic riff opens the proceedings and when the tetchy vocal hits the guitar full on then there is no escaping the glee and pleasure the band have put in front of us. They instantly recall Bob Mould’s Sugar such is the presence, hooks and the titanic arrangement that The Blind Shake create and laud before our willing ears. The band are also big mates of The Oh Sees and I’d also imagine they hang out with Ty Segal as well such is the lineage of their music.

Demonic is what I’d describe ‘Apostle Island’, pounding drums and vocals shrouded in a sea of gloom and ratty uneasiness once again putting today’s young guitar gunslingers in their rookie places. The Blind Shake are a band with passion, balls and an acerbic outlook that won’t fail to ruffle a few feathers with such blinders as ‘Society of Plants’ and the post punk melancholy of ‘Alicante’ which broadly speaking tells you the band can offer subtle nuances to their tried and tested sound.

‘Corpse on a roof’ is almost danceable. The punk funk bass resonates immediately and is the glue that holds the guitar and drums in account as it steps forward centre stage and royally delivers. ‘Broken Racehorse’ is a bloody monster of a track both taught and unrelenting. It makes you catch your breath as if it’s a car careering downhill with no end in sight. Same can be said of ‘Demox’ with a guitar solo that lurches back and forth like the bastard son of John Dwyer (Thee Oh Sees)

We are closed out with a track of the same name as the album and this time they adopt a more roomy and elongated approach to the preceding songs, once again showing their hand that they aren’t just a bunch of one trick ponies.

Thanks Blind Shake, you’ve done good here.

 

 

 

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