The Shook-Ups! ‘Bad Reception’ – album review

The Shook-Ups! ‘Bad Reception’ (Soundflat)
Vinyl LP/DL
Available now

The first full length album from The Shook-Ups! This one will definitely have you hipsters reaching for your regulation black skinny fit roll-neck jumper to top off the black jeans, and those Cuban heeled ankle boots which will be gainfully employed on the dance floor as you frantically twist and squirm to the psych infused garage mayhem.

The Shook-Ups! Hail from Wigan, Lancs – not an obvious home to 60’s psychedelia, however drawing their number from ex-members of local outfits Moco, The Stags, Doktor Combover and The V.C.s would suggest something is afoot “up mill” – they have already put out a very limited edition 7’’ via Rotosonic Records which caught the attention of Germany’s Soundflat Records for this new release.

‘Bad Reception’ is so steeped in that 60’s Farfisa driven groove that you will question whether this is in fact a new recording or perhaps a re-pressing of an obscure release the result of some serious crate digging – the work of some acid casualties too wasted, too dangerous to be included in the Pebbles compilations.
Album opener ‘New Confession’ immediately sets the tone, instant driving beat, that Farfisa keyboard producing some sublime sounds as throaty vocals implore you to the (no doubt) underfoot lit dance-floor ‘You’re Not The One’, a lament to a lost relationship leans heavily on the twin guitars and takes you off into a 13th Floor Elevators psych tinged workout – not a bad place to be!
The Farfisa is relentless, battling with some real fuzzed out garage guitar licks, check the soaring harmonies during ‘Don’t Be Wasting My Time’ – once again you will checking the calendar, can this really be 2012? Well it most certainly is, and The Shook-Ups! are acutely aware of that fact; the songs they have crafted are influenced by garage, by wig-outs from bygone decades but they have combined that with an urgency, even an aggressive attitude that permeates throughout this release; that said this is no one dimensional sound, the brooding ‘No Reason To Complain’ a cover of The Alarm Clocks 1966 gem – perfectly paced, just allowing you time to draw breath…calling a song ‘Just Perfection’ is brave, but The Shook-Ups! rightly believe in themselves and with its fuzz overloaded guitar and tight drum patterns as this builds to a screeching apex this track more than justifies its title.
‘Second To None’ is pure Pebbles, two minutes of swirling keys, infectious harmonies that demonstrates just how seriously The Shook-Ups! take the craft of song-writing, the attention to detail, the production values, the front cover boasting of ‘Stereoscopic Sound’ – this is garage perfection spread across 12” of black vinyl.

Track Listing:

New Confession
You’re Not The One
Don’t Be Wasting My Time
Psychotropic Nightmare
No Reason To Complain
Just Perfection
Second To None
Don’t Come Back
Understated Man
On My Feet All Day
Burden On Me
What You Gonna Do About It?

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Phil Newall is 47, from The Wirral - he earns his living not writing about music nor playing music...though sorely wishes he could. He was fortunate enough to see many of the first generation punk bands when they played the U18's matinee shows at Eric's, Liverpool. As an attendee at Eric's he was exposed to punk rock, dub reggae, art rock, and all manner of weirdness; as a customer at Probe Records he was variously served and scowled at by Pete Wylie and Pete Burns - he has written for Record Collector, Whisperin & Hollerin, and Spiral Scratch and wanted to write a book detailing the Liverpool punk scene; however with 'Head-On' Julian Cope beat him to it...and frankly did a much better job.



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