26 Feb 2020
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Shakes and the Troublemakers - EP Review: Shakes and the Troublemakers

31 Oct 2019 // A review by Darryl Baser

Chris ‘Shakes’ Prendergast has been around the Dunedin music scene since before spending time in the city’s punk instigators The Enemy in the late 1970's. He now fronts this combo with Pottley on bass and at times guitar, along with Red on drums.

But there’s plenty of life in the old surfer yet.

This EP’s opening track, Motorbike, has been around since the turn of the millennia. I recall him playing it live in a long defunct venue The Gresham, around the year 2000. This recording has captured it well.

The Troublemakers both add a beautiful racket supporting Shakes’ over-driven, reverberant, and at times tremolo-heavy guitar.

The second song Surf Patrol, is lifted straight out of the mid to late 1960's. It has all the hall marks of a fantastic live track and it follows the surf structure very well.

Take Me Back To The Sea is pure Shakes. Like some of his contemporary musicians and those swimming up through the ranks, when Shakes isn’t playing music or working a day job, he can be commonly found out the back of a massive set of waves off St Clair, or Whareakeake, or Brighton beaches. Along with Chris Heazlewood, I’ve kind of seen Shakes as Dunedin’s Dick Dale. The opening lyric is “I come out of the water, I come out of the sea…”

Mourning is the next tune and it's a sadly personal song about a friend who had an accident at a river. It makes for a very fitting tribute.

Every great band has a break-up song. Split definitely isn’t that song. It’s a fabulous, lusty song which shows appreciation for the female form, and it comes complete with a great sing-a-long chorus. It's nice to hear Red’s backing vocals in the mix on this track.

This EP is definitely worth a listen.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

Releases

Shakes and the Troublemakers
Year: 2019
Type: EP

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