A tasty blend of George Thorogood by way of punk and 70s power trios, Shakyfoot is raw, boisterous, shakin', and just the right amalgamation of slop and precision. There's a long tradition of this kind of music in rock: Blue Cheer, the Faces, Jon Spencer, Iggy…though the Shakyfoot guys are far more fundamentally hard blues than those others. They're also one of the ensembles possesing a vision and ambition just a little beyond their reach, and the very act of saying "The hell with everything, we're going for it!" is what sets them apart. Jason Scolnick's lead lines are frequently psychedelically driven, turning the driving compositions into explorations of what's still possible in the inexhaustible improv mode. Rock, despite its gazillion releases, remains wide open to anyone who can grab that neck and bend it backwards.
Thus, step back, one and all, and feel again what it's like to burn up with energy, as in the title cut, Down on the Rain, a nice little diversion into what it means to just crank. Of course, the follow-on In the Middle changes up completely, becoming a cool jug / jazz / folk / rock number before diving back into the power trio format, restating the proto-rock fundament sustaining the bulk of the CD. We expect that and in fact demand it. Had more of punk been like this, I, for one, would've been a much happier guy, and the mode would've had much more to say for itself. Seeing Shakyfoot opening for some of the top thud-n-bump groups wouldn't be at all out of place, as Down on the Rain needs to take its music out of the garage and onto a stage where it can pound the pavement, shake the trees, and promote the health-giving virtues of headbanging.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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