Sunday, 3 March 2013

The Shook-Ups! - Bad Reception

Snotty, fuzzed up garage punk from the North West.

It's odd to think that a musical genre that was so short lived and financially unrewarding for many its originators continues to be the template of choice for so many current bands. I'm talking of garage punk, and those '60s US bands that formed in that short period after the decline of the beat era, but before psych became flower power. Those bands whose forgotten, poor selling singles were collected up and reissued the following decade, most successfully on Elektra Records' Nuggets series.

It's that style of music that's made by The Shook-Ups! who hail not from the American mid-west, but from Wigan, a town more famous for its pier, its association with northern soul, The Verve, and er well... pies. That could all change though with the release of Bad Reception, The Shook-Ups! debut album. It's garage punk played and sung exactly as it should be. With plenty of fuzz guitar played through Selmer or Vox amps, and simple lines on a Farfisa organ, it's anti-intellectual, defiantly non-progressive, yet packed with hook-laden songs from start to finish. Any solos are short, sharp and serve the songs.

The subject matter sticks mainly with the small-time psychodrama of girl trouble and dissatisfaction, with lyrics more sneered than sung, yet the songs are so catchy and infectious it makes it seem that such a mindset could almost be fun. And it is, at least while the album is playing. Fans of the Nuggets compilations, The Sonics, The Seeds, or in fact any music that doesn't take itself too seriously will get a kick out of this album. 

Click here for The Shook-Ups! website.