The once popular industrial fuzz and raw guttural power of garage rock is rarely seen these days. After its last heyday in the early noughties, when The White Stripes were still around and The Strokes were good, garage rock crawled back underground. Head hung low and depressed after how things ended, the highly personified music genre kept itself to itself only popping up every now and again when a sprightly, young band decided to tackle the genre for themselves.
One of the young bands ready to show 2011 the ways of garage rock are Thick Shakes, a rowdy Boston based four-piece who make fuzzed out, boppy, 60s influenced garage rock. The group are a tight knit bunch; bassist/vocalist Lindsay and guitarist Tim are a couple and are best friends with drummer Matt. Thick Shakes were born out of boredom and a love of music – the best reasons to form a band.
Hot on the heels of their debut EP Ooh Mommy is their new EP Why Buy The Cow, out now on Aurora 7 records. It opens with the foot stomping ‘Go Back To New York’, a track overflowing with buzzsaw guitars and so many organs listening to it feels like you’re in a particularly trendy episode of Songs of Praise. You can hear the influence of lo-fi bands such as Thee Headcoatees in the band’s ramshackle, frenzied delivery.
The rest of the EP is just as good as the opener. ‘Neighbor’s Goods’ is a fairground-punk up-tempo ditty and ‘Banned from the Laundromat’ is a frenzied organ attack accompanied by jumped-up guitars and dry, pithy vocals. We’re sorry they got banned from said Laundromat but we can kinda see why.
The main reason this record is so good is the fact that the band are not afraid to bring out the pop when necessary. While they never delve-in head first, they constantly hover near it making sure they have enough catchy hooks and memorable choruses to make them stand out as an up and coming new band. Why Buy The Cow is a fully formed, beast of a record that is simultaneously nostalgic and modern without those two ideas jarring. A record we’re sure garage rock is glad it came out of hiding for.