I discovered two things by listening to “Kick It,” the debut record by New York band The Shake. The first is that listening to a CD for the first time on an iPod while doing groceries with a hangover from St. Patrick’s Day the night before does not give one the chance to fully experience any record. And the second is that The Shake have managed to take their rock and roll influences and produce a satisfying and rocking record that, more importantly, gets better with every listen.
Influenced by the classic rock and roll of the Kinks, Yardbirds and Animals with a wink and a nod to bands like Oasis and Jet, The Shake have managed to put out the type of album that builds on familiar influences yet rocks with a swagger that is all 2007. Formed by four buddies in their early twenties who are all still going to college, “Kick It” wears its influences proudly but does not regurgitate them note for note. Kicking off with the very Gallagher-esque and suitably snotty “Princes and Queens” and “Outcast,” this album has enough rock and roll twists and turns to make the first couple of listens an adventure. Listen to the 3 song sequence of “Eight O’Clock” with its vaguely familiar sounding lyrics (Macca’s parts on “A Day in the Life”), the bass heavy “Devil’s Side” and then the the swaggering “Dyin’ Ain’t the End of the World” and you have an amzingly diverse yet 100% rock and roll listening experience.
This is one of those CDs which will have you in the mood to listen to something different every day, depending on whether you are in the mood for Kinks-style crunch or something more like the 60’s pop of “Let Me Take You Far Away.” A great listen and certainly a band to look to for big things ahead. Good stuff.