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Record Reviews

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SHADOWCOPS, THE:
A Big Pot of Hot: CD
Raucous rock music with a punk afterburn. Heard better, heard worse. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.tnsrecords.co.uk)


SHADOWHOUSE:
Hand in Hand: LP
Shadowhouse describe themselves as “post-punk/goth” from Portland, Oregon. I don’t get around to those genres too often but, for the most part, appreciate what is going on here. Reverby guitar riffs, big drum sounds, synthesizers, and a deep, booming voice. Every piece sounds like it was recorded in a different section of a spooky cave on the Oregon coast. If you’re tired of your favorite ‘80s singers acting like assholes or paying two hundred dollars to see some cover act at an embarrassing convention, try this LP out. It’ll get the job done.  –John Mule (Mass Media, massmediarecords.com)


SHADRACK WILDE:
Unforgiveable Things: CD
This Louisville musician plays country-influenced songs of self-deprecation, loss, and hardship (which I guess is to be expected on an album called Unforgiveable Things) in a style akin to Ryan Adams or any of his various projects. There seems to have been a lot of sorrow in Shadrack’s life, but he does an effective job of sharing it in a means that doesn’t seem too tiresome. I like the addition of harmonica, violin, and electric guitar to the songs, which give them a fullness and strength. Wilde is a decent songwriter, too, although his focus on the morose could stand to be tempered to a degree. I wouldn’t mind hearing the next album, though. –Kurt Morris (myspace.com/shadwickwilde)


SHADY CHARACTERS:
Sunnydays EP: CD-R
Kind of cutesy garage/droney indie rock. Not bad. I’d probably be into it a little more if I was in the mood for cutesy/wish I wasn’t in the mood for droney. –Joe Evans III (kylemccormick12@gmail.comR)


SHADY CHARACTERS:
Sunnydays EP: CD-R
Somewhere between the lines of Thee Oh Sees and Best Coast, this band is definitely outside my jurisdiction of my credibility. Here’s what I can tell you though: I really hope the fuzz is intentional. I don’t know if this is a demo or what, but I see promise. There’s a lot of alternative rock influence, but I couldn’t but my finger on what exactly I was hearing. The first track is easily the best. –Bryan Static (kylemccormick12@gmail.com)


SHAI HALUD:
A Comprehensive Retrospective or: How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Release Ba: CD

Two awful singers, mediocre riffs, and four songs at the end of the guitarist’s practice tapes? Complete tommyrot. This is sixty-five minutes of my life that I will never, ever get back. I would rather watch golf all afternoon than listen to this CD again. To add insult to injury, Revelation Records neglected to include a jewel case so I can’t even use it as a coaster for my vodka tonic. Bastards.

–Sean Koepenick (Revelation)


SHAI HULUD:
A Comprehensive Retrospective: CD
Demo, live, and warehouse recordings of a band who has become one of the biggest names in hardcore. Compiled by original member Matt Fox, this is one more to add to your collection if you’re a fan of this stuff. Otherwise, it’s a complete waste of time. –Mr. Z (Revelation)


SHAKE IT LIKE A CAVEMAN:
Or It Will Take Everything: CD
My general disdain for one-man bands notwithstanding, this, um, group is steeped with a nice, slow-burning Delta blues influence, which makes for a not too painful listen. –Jimmy Alvarado (no address)


SHAKEDOWNS, THE:
Self-Titled: CD
Take a little Hives, thrown in some Northwestern nouveau-punk and add an Endino production and you get this. –Jimmy Alvarado (Morphius)


SHAKEDOWNS, THE:
Move!: CD

Dude, they’re trying really hard to make me move, but their attempts at trash rock just ain’t cuttin’ it. So, this is what impotence feels like….

–Jimmy Alvarado (www.vmsrecords.com)


SHAKES, THE:
The Rise and Fall of Modern Living: CD
I loved The Shakes last release, with its lighthearted, bouncy pop delivered with sincerity to rival Jonathan Richman. And, in general, I hate when a band goes from themes like changing the world with songs about girls to more “serious” topics. And I almost always hate concept albums. But guess what? Peter Gilabert is such a good songwriter, and the band does such a brilliant job of melding the more intellectual side of The Kinks with the more innocent side of The Modern Lovers, that you can’t help but love every moment of The Rise and Fall of Modern Living. One of my favorite bands right now. –brian (Teenacide)


SHAKES, THE:
Full House: 7”
Kinda goofy, kinda rocking garage punk with elements of soul and doo wop in the backing vocals. Fans of Burger Records or Shannon And The Clams would probably find a whole lot to like from this Philadelphia band. –Mike Frame (Self -released, facebook.com/theshakesrule)


SHAKING HANDS, THE:
Self-titled: LP
When I hear some jackass saying, “There’s no political punk anymore,” I just wanna punch the douche. Granted, there are less shrill, blunt political songs asking Phyllis Schaffley to “ram it up her cunt” (The Dead Kennedys said it; I’m just quoting.) nowadays, but I think this is a good thing. Why? Because I find no shortage of smart folks taking stock of their lives and looking at pictures much bigger than they are—from the neighborhoods they live in, to the national political scene, to the glaciers melting (all which The Shaking Hands deal with), but it’s all wrapped together into a seamless burrito of life. It’s one big log. Feeling like absolute shit is directly tied in with a dickhead running the country with regressive policies. And this makes the songs more timeless than being so literal and making a song called, say, “Sarah Palin Would Look Great with a Moose Cock Moustache,” that has its place fixed in such a short period of relevant time. (Quick, who was Phyllis Schaffley?) So, I put the Shaking Hands in the same gruff-voiced, anthemic vein of No Truth Lies and Watson, with some distant echoes of the Beltones in the background. Powerful, motivating songs that sing about a life looked at fully, and, often, achingly, in a subtle way that doesn’t need to separate daily life from political statements.  –Todd Taylor (ADD / Kiss Of Death)


SHAKING HANDS, THE:
Self-titled: CD
If there’s a CD that I wanted to like this month it’s this one. Decent, passionate, social, political, and personal lyrics and they’re obviously into it. It’s that melodic sort of hardcore. But it’s a bit too clean and accessible for my tastes. My roommate said it sounded like H2O and that’s probably fair. –Craven (A.D.D)


SHAKING HANDS, THE:
Self-title: CD
The lyrics here are substantive and well thought out, and the music is new millennium anthemic punk, kinda reminiscent of bands like Anti-Flag. The fact they don’t sound like some cheap Blink-182 or Rancid knockoff is a definite plus, but they ultimately just ain’t my thang. –Jimmy Alvarado (Kiss Of Death)


SHAKING HANDS, THE:
Self-titled: CD
Two of the dudes from The Young Livers put together The Shaking Hands, a melodic streetpunk band that’s more hit than miss. At their best, The Shaking Hands strike a chord in the vein of Reducers SF, but some of the songs are awfully bland. Overall, I’m falling for it and am considering picking up the vinyl version. This simplistic, 1990s street sound is in jeopardy, after snoots turned their backs on it. Yet most people would need to be strapped to a chair to not want to get up and hop around while The Shaking Hands play. Count me in with the unashamed. I’d shake their fucking hands any day. –Art Ettinger (ADD/Kiss Of Death)


SHAKIN’ NASTIES/ THE HATE PINKS:
Split: 7”
Shakin’ Nasties: They’ve got a nice balance between the modern beach punk sound (a la Hostage Records), mixing snideness with sharpness, and splint it with the best trappings of new wave: tight transitions, great interludes, and spot-on songwriting. They made me think of a stylish suicide. Everything’s well ordered, but feels fatalistic. Hatepinks: French version of the Briefs, which isn’t bad at all. They’ve got the snot, sarcasm, and the bounce in spades, and with catchy song titles like “Kissing Cops with My Ass,” they’re fun to hum to when you’re getting groceries. Not essential, but fun nonetheless. The packaging is great. Clear insert over a full-color cover gives it a ton of dimension, and it’s on thick vaseline-clear vinyl. –Todd Taylor (Relax-O-Matic Vibrator)


SHAKIRA:
Laundry Service: CD
Assimilation. For those not in the know, she is the Colombian equivalent of Alanis Morrisette. I sneaked into the record store to pick this up. It was right near the front and I grabbed a copy and made a mad dash to pay for it. I covered up my punk rock t-shirt and walked quietly up to the counter to pay. I had my credit card out so that the transaction would happen quickly. Everything seemed to be going fine until the slightly hip store clerk had to engage me in conversation. The store clerk asked, “Did you see her at Tower Records in Hollywood today?” Mortified, I stuttered, “No, this is a closet pleasure for me.” Now I was pissed, all I wanted to do was buy and leave. I didn’t need a friend. The clerk responded with, “This release is not too good if you like her earlier releases.” In my mind I’m thinking, “Why the fuck are you taking to me?” I composed myself and said, “I heard a track on an internet radio station and I liked it.” The clerk handed me my credit card slip to sign, I signed it and I was out of there. I got in my car and proceeded to put the CD into the stereo. I started the car and started driving down the street. I am really hesitant about this release. This is supposed to be Shakira’s breakthrough crossover record to the masses. She normally sings in her native tongue of Spanish, but she wants to make it in the USA. She enlists Emilio Estefan (Gloria’s husband) as executive producer. Bad move number one. I pull over to sample what is in store for me. First song is a dance number mixed with a tango theme and does not have the energy of her previous release. Me being me, I fast forward towards the tracks that are sung in Spanish. Familiarity comforts me and her trademark octave changes are prevalent. Spanish is a more romantic sounding language to me. There are two tracks that are repeated here that are in both languages. The Spanish versions sound to me more flowing. Many of the English lyrics sound confused and jumbled. I have a hard time interpreting the thoughts she is trying to put forth. Also confusing is all the different styles of music that are represented here. I guess she is trying to please everybody at once and hope something would stick. My mind scattered, I switch CDs and listen to the latest Crispus Attucks CD to get my hardcore rage in balance. –Donofthedead (Epic)


SHAKIRA:
Laundry Service: CD
Assimilation. For those not in the know, she is the Colombian equivalent of Alanis Morrisette. I sneaked into the record store to pick this up. It was right near the front and I grabbed a copy and made a mad dash to pay for it. I covered up my punk rock t-shirt and walked quietly up to the counter to pay. I had my credit card out so that the transaction would happen quickly. Everything seemed to be going fine until the slightly hip store clerk had to engage me in conversation. The store clerk asked, “Did you see her at Tower Records in Hollywood today?” Mortified, I stuttered, “No, this is a closet pleasure for me.” Now I was pissed, all I wanted to do was buy and leave. I didn’t need a friend. The clerk responded with, “This release is not too good if you like her earlier releases.” In my mind I’m thinking, “Why the fuck are you taking to me?” I composed myself and said, “I heard a track on an internet radio station and I liked it.” The clerk handed me my credit card slip to sign, I signed it and I was out of there. I got in my car and proceeded to put the CD into the stereo. I started the car and started driving down the street. I am really hesitant about this release. This is supposed to be Shakira’s breakthrough crossover record to the masses. She normally sings in her native tongue of Spanish, but she wants to make it in the USA. She enlists Emilio Estefan (Gloria’s husband) as executive producer. Bad move number one. I pull over to sample what is in store for me. First song is a dance number mixed with a tango theme and does not have the energy of her previous release. Me being me, I fast forward towards the tracks that are sung in Spanish. Familiarity comforts me and her trademark octave changes are prevalent. Spanish is a more romantic sounding language to me. There are two tracks that are repeated here that are in both languages. The Spanish versions sound to me more flowing. Many of the English lyrics sound confused and jumbled. I have a hard time interpreting the thoughts she is trying to put forth. Also confusing is all the different styles of music that are represented here. I guess she is trying to please everybody at once and hope something would stick. My mind scattered, I switch CDs and listen to the latest Crispus Attucks CD to get my hardcore rage in balance. –Donofthedead (Epic)


SHALLOW CUTS:
Storm Watch: 7” EP
On the surface, San Diego/Minneapolis trio Shallow Cuts don’t sound terribly dissimilar from their pop punk brethren, but there’s something lurking in their melodies, song structures, and chord progressions that lingers in the ether between the two genres. The cheery guitar line on Side A’s “The Mission” feels more like The Cure than Alkaline Trio, while recalling both. When placing “89 Suzuki” on a mixtape, it could play just as well next to Billy Joel as The Lawrence Arms. Side B’s “SLC” feels like a brighter Gaslight Anthem with lyrics by John Cougar Mellencamp, but it possesses a purity all its own. Final track, “Calamine” boasts an intro and breakdown that scream for a place in the life-affirming climax of a twee indie film, and finds ways to integrate subtle, refreshing key changes and vocal runs throughout. Its title, lyrics, album art, and marbled grey vinyl may seem foreboding, but Storm Watch is like an injection of serotonin and nostalgia straight into your brain.  –Kelley O’Death (No Idea, matt@noidearecords.com, noidearecords.com)


SHALLOW END DIVERS, THE:
Demo ‘11: CD-R
Seven-song demo EP from this Boston area band. These six dudes live in close proximity to my secret bunker location. I was a bit shell shocked at first since the demo came in a brown paper bag. Like, was someone’s soggy sandwich in this previously? Oh well, it’s what inside that counts. Noisy “Nuggets”-style rock that kicks like Tabasco sauce in your beer. I’m pretty sure there is even some kind of wild glockenspiel action on the second song! Heartfelt and brawny; looking forward to more stuff from these rock and roll daredevils. –Sean Koepenick (Self-released, shallowdivers11@gmail.com)


SHAM 69:
Tell Us the Truth / That’s Life / The Adventures of Hersham Boys / The Game: CDs
After the Ramones and the Clash, Sham is easily one of the most influential bands to come out of punk rock. From them one can trace most, if not all, strains of oi and what is now called “street punk.” Not only can those influential seeds can be heard scattered throughout their four original releases, one can also track the band’s progression from rudimentary musicians to more accomplished songsmiths. Their first, Tell Us the Truth, is pure minimalist thud-punk—angry, violent, outraged. A number of their better known songs—“Borstal Breakout,” “Hey Little Rich Boy,” “Ulster,” and “Rip Off” to name a few—can be found here, as well as their most direct working class attacks on a power structure that favors the more affluent, which is interesting to note considering the decidedly reactionary bent of many of the bands that followed in their wake. That’s Life, while essentially following along the same lines as its predecessor, experiments a little with the template, adding occasional keys to the songs and spoken bits between tracks. Hersham Boys, progresses things along even further, and by The Game—paradoxically the band’s worst selling album—the songs are finely honed missiles, providing the band’s unpretentious beginnings a fine craftsman’s sheen without sacrificing a whit of power or anger. Spread out over the four discs are twenty-nine bonus tracks culled from assorted demos, singles, and EPs for a more comprehensive collection of what remains Sham’s finest years. –Jimmy Alvarado (Captain Oi)


SHAM 69:
Punk Singles Collection 1977-80: CD
Cleopatra released this collection of Sham's singles some years back (and they no doubt licensed it from somewhere else). Captain Oi has taken it, purtied it all up, added a few more tracks that were left off of the Cleopatra version, and sent it back out into the world. All the big hits are here, twenty-six in all, from "If the Kids are United" to "Hurry Up Harry," plus some rarities, like "What Have We Got," which was only available as a freebie given out at their shows. If by some fluke of nature you've never heard a single Sham song, this is the perfect place to dive in. –Jimmy Alvarado (Captain Oi)


SHAM 69:
Hollywood Hero: CD
I ain’t gonna get into the semantics of whether this is or isn’t a release by the “real” Sham 69 ‘cause, frankly, I’m more interested in it being good than whether Jimmy Pursey’s singing or not. That said, it definitely sounds like Sham—the good Sham, mind you. Whoever Dave got to take Jimmy’s place does a fairly good impersonation of him, delivering the lyrics (the bulk of which were apparently written by Jimmy before he, um, departed) with just the right mixture of venom, conviction, and harmony. The rest of the band sound top notch, resulting in one of the better Sham releases I’ve heard since their “classic” period. If “I Want Glory” and “I Don’t Believe a Word” are any indication, they might actually do all right without Jimmy, as both tracks are quite solid in their own right. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.sosrecords.us)


SHAME, THE:
The World Is Ours: 7"
This three piece oi / streetpunk band from Tulsa, OK has just released a single on Profane Existence with four hard-hitting songs. The opening song is great with its oi oi oi chant, but all the songs are great to sing along to and have a few pints while doing it. I really love this band and look forward to everything that they release. They are that good! If you are a fan of non-racist skinhead music, you need to get this release. It comes on red, white, blue, black, and, if you are quick enough, a glow in the dark vinyl single that comes with a patch. –Guest Contributor (Profane Existence, profaneexistence.org)


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