Track by Track – “Shaky at Best” by Shaky Shrines


Track by Track” is written by the Artist who made the music possible. Today we feature – Shakey Shrines , from my hometown of Pittsburgh Pa.

Track by Track : Shaky at Best – Shaky Shrines

Close Call

This song is about finding a best friend that was trying to overdose, and the pain and heartache that comes when you’re trying to save someone that doesn’t want to be saved (in that moment, at least). And the bridge deals with my love of psychedelic mushrooms – and the reverence I have for them – juxtaposed with the idea that we classify pills, weed, and mushrooms all as “drugs.” It’s silly.

Sneakin’ Out :

As a guy who works 40+ hours a week in a cemetery, but still doesn’t have health insurance, I think about mortality quite often. I use booze and drugs as an escape, have a great night of blissful ignorance, and then wake up noticing every ache and bump and extra fast heartbeat – but I don’t want to know what’s wrong.

Tomato Tomato:

This song is only 3 chords the entire time (thanks MC5), and every strum of the guitar is a downstroke. I wanted the listener to feel anxious so I could sing ‘it’s probably totally fine.’

Thru the Night :

Pittsburgh is a drinking town with a drinking problem. And it occurred to me that most of my friends are going out, reliving a past relationship, projecting the fear of what the future may hold, getting sad – but they’re with friends. And the chorus is a triumphant, “YES! I did it! Life is beautiful and I’m alive!” (Side note: Our guitarist Dave Cerminara said this is the best/his favorite guitar solo that he ever has/will play.)

Liar :

“I’m starting to hate everything again” is the key phrase in this song – WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN ? My moods are cyclical I suppose, and sometimes I’m just bumming hard. My favorite part of this song is our bass player’s heavy drop during the outro (also he’s got the most talent in this band for sure).

House Isn’t Haunted :

This track was mega fun to record. All of the main instruments were tracked in the studio, nice and tight to give a close, intimate vibe. BUT – the auxiliary percussion and vocals (also the vocals for Liar) were tracked in this huge boomy stairwell in a mausoleum. There is absolutely no digital reverb on this record.

It Was Mine (The Whole Time) :

This a true story about my mom finding a one-hitter in my jacket and confronting me be saying, “I found your BONG in your jacket!” She threw it away, my dad asked if there was still any weed in it, she got mad at him, we all laughed. The highlight though, is that our keyboardist/vocalist Chelsea Rumbaugh nails a note coming out of the chorus that made me weep when I heard it. GAAHHH.

Wild Flowers :

This song is a favorite to play live, but one that I personally think grows on the listener each time they hear it. Dig those drum sounds during the break, too.

Sun Spits :

I love the groove that our drummer, Chris Weaver, totally nails; super dry and super tight. Plus, a good friend told me this song reminded him of the Butthole Surfers, so that’s cool, huh?

Roll Credits :

This track had vocals and we cut them because I loved how ethereal Chelsea sounds. And this type of groove is something Chris and Nate are really great at (they lock eyes and lock in). Here’s a bit of trivia: The bongos on this track were played by minimalist Detroit techno guru, Shawn Rudiman.

Shakey Shrines:


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Co-founder of 50thirdand3rd, stepped away to spend time with family and write. From Pittsburgh, now in Florida, Cool Canadian artist wife, 4 great kids, and two granddaughters!! I'm a lucky guy!

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