The Blind Shake – Seriousness

January 01, 1970

(Learning Curve)


indie guitar rock has two well-known permutations: the Twin/Tone punk/power pop
contingent as exemplified by the Replacements, Soul Asylum and Hüsker Dü, and
the noisier, more mid-fi Amphetamine Reptile gang led by AmRep owner/Halo of
Flies leader Tom Hazelmeyer. (We’ll forget the Jayhawks and Prince for the
purpose of argument.) Power trio the Blind Shake fall in between those two
extremes – too grungy to fit in with the Midwestern alt.rock folks, but too
melodic and song-oriented to be AmRep noisemongers. The band also has a surf
rock jones – “No Rags” and “Hurracan” revolve around slicing reverbed guitar
spears and lickety-split drum pounding straight out of Dick Dale’s wilder


t the meat of Seriousness,
the Shake’s third LP, is the tribal postpunk rock of “Man Leaves House,” O’Rider”
and “Out of Work,” which blasts out of the garage without careening into and
splattering all over the walls. That task is left to “Busy Body,” which sounds
like the band is taking its name to the furthest extreme by vibrating into
atoms as loudly as possible. “On Me,” which would be a ballad if not for the
pained howling, gives a relative respite, but otherwise Seriousness just rages and roars.


Work,” “O’Rider,” “Man Leaves House” MICHAEL TOLAND

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