A band from Tulsa Oklahoma, a club in Humbolt Park Chicago, and a blood red cassette tape. How do these three things, that seem to have no correlation, fit so perfectly? The simple answer is the magic of rock n roll! In past reviews, I’ve talked about how tricky it may be to carry the live music experience over to an album you listen to at home. There have been may commercial releases over the years that have went down in history as some of music’s greatest albums (Peter Frampton Comes Alive for example) and even though these records are great to listen to, it’s hard to beat actually being there.
Dead Shakes are a band that can best be described as simply rock n roll. Guitars, bass, drums, vocals. The End. No pretentious outfits, no hipster attitude, no tricks, just good old fashioned garage rock at it’s finest. The quick seven song setlist on this album sums up perfectly what the band is about. At times they seem to channel some of the sleazy seduction of The Cramps, and the next minute come off sounding like a more relaxed version of The Hives. Regardless of influence or mission statement, Dead Shakes are a band that have the special kind of authenticity that is needed to pull off a successful live album
Presented on a limited edition cassette tape (which looks just as cool as it sounds) from Fuzz Row Records, Live At Young Camelot was recorded on July 17th 2015 and despite being so recent, the sound quality of the album gives off an impression of classic live album you may have found in the back of a scene magazine as a highly expensive bootleg of a live show you were either too far away to attend, or too young. That doesn’t mean it’s a muddy lo-fi, wreck, it means that it has that classic sound that lets you know that you are listening to something that was recorded, mixed, and mastered with care. The bass is deep and rumbling, the guitars gritty and real, percussion tight and thick, and the vocals are crisp and clear. All the things you would find on a major label’s live release. Hearing it on cassette gives it an extra dose of special thanks to the nostalgia of the format but also in the way of natural warmth that can only be achieved on tape.
This is the first proper release I’ve fully listened to by this band, and usually the general rule is not to listen to a live album first when checking out a band that you are not familiar with, but I will make an exception with Live At Young Camelot. This album comes off as an amazing sampler of a band that I can’t wait to hear in a studio setting, as well as checking them out live in person!
Live At Young Camelot is available on very limited, red cassette at Fuzz Row Records as well as digitally (for all you squares out there who aren’t hip enough to have a cassette player)
For more information on Dead Shakes, check out their official Facebook page