On appearance and first few listens, California’s Shannon and the Clams struck me as a band who had jumped out of a John Waters movie. Retro-kitsch, a bit loud, maybe garish, possibly really weird underneath the make-up. However, a few spins of their latest album ‘Gone by The Dawn‘, I soon realised that there was real depth and raw emotion coming from what some might judge to be a pastiche. Yes, much of their output is very much rooted in the sounds of pre-Beatles American rock and roll but it does help that this was a time with fucking awesome music. And anyone who has been to a rockabilly club night will tell you that that era produced some fantastic sounds to dance to.
‘It’s Too Late’ is my favourite track from the album and now it has it’s own creepy as shit video. Cody Blanchard, who takes on vocals for this track, plays a loner picked up by some fellow rootin’ tootin’ varmints out on a sun bleached road. When he falls from the back of the pick up, he meets some monsters that look like ‘Sesame Street’ on acid. Seemingly seduced by one, he soon succumbs to….what tha fuck. I’ve no idea. But it’s better than footage of the band performing at a fake gig. The track itself is excellent, all crybaby yelps, chunky guitar and whipcrack drums. There’s even a Del Shannon-esque keyboard outro. You can easily pick out the bits where teenage girls would be screaming at the stage.
‘Gone By The Dawn’ is out now via Hardly Art
Shannon and the Clams will play two shows in the UK as part of a European tour. Get your gladrags on.
11 – London, UK – Oslo
12 – Brighton, UK – Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar
13 – Lille, FR – La Peniche
14 – Paris, FR – La Maroquinerie
15 – Limoges, FR – TBD
17 – Lyon, FR – Le Sonic
18 – Geneva, CH – L’Ecurie
19 – Brussels, BE – Madame Moustache
20 – Antwerp, BE – Het Bos
21 – Utrecht, NL – Le Guess Who?
22 – Breda, NL – Electron
23 – Berlin, DE – Monarch