Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Shake Some Action-Self-Titled

February 1, 2007

Band Name: Shake Some Action

Album Title: Self-Titled

Best Element: Songwriting skills

Genre: Power-pop/Rock/Pop

Website: www.shakesomeaction.net

Label Name: Satellite 451 Records

Band Email: info@shakesomeaction.net

Although recently dubbed as the worst town ever for American Idol tryouts, Seattle still has a claim to fame when it comes to the evolution of music. Not only did Seattle drive the nail home in arena rock’s coffin, but it was also home to the grunge movement that swung the hammer. Now, however, from the ashes of the self-destructive grunge lifestyle comes Shake Some Action, the brain-child of the musically gifted James Hall.

Hall knows what he can do and how to do it well. That much is obvious after one listen through of his band’s self-titled album. Featuring twelve tracks of music completely composed by Hall (though several of his live musicians contribute to tracks on the disk), Shake Some Action is a fun, light, pop-filled album built specifically to generate positive vibes.

“Sound of Your Mind” dictates the rest of the CD with its happy-go-lucky, Beatle-esque feel. Vocal harmony, tight rhythms, and well communicated emotion are all themes that repeat through the album. “Complicated” stirs up 80’s pop with a tinge of the Beach Boys as Hall belts out a simple, yet beautifully crafted mix of easy-going vocals and a high melodic lead guitar. Hall’s vocals turn husky as he drops a tear of romance on his listeners in the mellower “Orange Peel.” Ever mixing it up, Hall lets a tint of blues seep into the pot via “Damaged,” a heavier toe-tapping rocker complete with scaling vocal harmonies and a guitar solo.

A loud crash signals the start of the hip beat that comprises the backbone of “Without You,” one of the best tunes Hall offers. The songwriter’s instrumental control shines in “You’ve Got it Made” when he drops out the high vocals to allow for an epic instrumental middle that brings to mind images of driving down an endless road in a state of pure bliss.

The last tune on the disk kicks off with a shout of “1,2,3,4!” Hall and co. then rock out for the next two and half minutes, including a tinge of early 90s alternative, a blazing guitar solo and the ever-solid vocal harmonies in each singalong chorus.

As stated before, Hall knows who he is and what he is capable of. It’s no surprise that with that in mind, he also knows how to write twelve songs incapable of flaw. If there is anything wrong with this CD, it may be that it’s too happy.

Easy-going vocals, chill instrumentals, and an overall feeling of peace make this album a must-own. Regardless of what style of music you like, this album will put you in nirvana. Hall’s own words in his last song say, “It’s what you want me to do.” Well, taking the words from his mouth, buy this album. It’s what I want YOU to do.

-Erik Williams

endlesscreed@charter.net

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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