Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Shannon & the Clams - Dreams of the Rat House
Taking doo wop and late '50s - early '60s rock and roll through a garage/surf/punk filter, Oakland's Shannon & the Clams have crafted one of my go-to party soundtracks for the summer. Perfect for the beach, driving in the sun, playing loud enough to annoy the neighbors when the keg is tapped in the back yard, Dreams in the Rat House should be on your list, too.
Shannon & the Clams are Shannon Shaw (vocals/bass), Cody Blanchard (guitar/vocals), and Ian Amberson (drums/vocals). The contributions of Blanchard and Amberson are significant as they add the musical flourishes that ground the music in the retro garage/doo-wop groove (and the male vocals star on some of my favorite songs on the album). But the flexible and powerful instrument that it Shannon's voice likely will command the most attention. It ranges from innocent girl-group croon to garage growl with conviction.
You can take the album for a test spin with three tracks below. I wish I could share the vampy rhythms and surf guitar accents of "The Rabbit's Nose" with you on this page, but you'll have to stream it here.
Dreams in the Rat House is out today, May 21, on Seattle's Hardly Art label.