Australia has produced some damn fine pub rock bands in the past, which means that new up and coming groups of the same genre really have to be something special to earn themselves a place amongst the greats. Three piece Sydney outfit The Shake Up have decided to have a crack at it with their debut album ….If You Have No Shame.
Think ‘You Am I’ with some punk/pop rock influences and that pretty much sums up the sound of this record, catchy at times, repetitive at others. Opening track She Read The Riot Act kicks off with a swing club style beat and evolves into a dance paced rock song with an energy that is not matched by the sound of the band; things seem like they need to be bigger and the vocals stand too far apart from the rest of the music. Every Friday Night is one of the stand out tracks on the record as it ignores the whole Jet styled, flamboyant rock and moves closer to the aforementioned ‘You Am I’ sound, which seems like where the band is most comfortable and honest. Single Everybody Loves It has an uplifting groove but is ruined by the try hard British punk style of the vocals. Second single Makes Me Sick is a more straight forward rock song with a good amount of attitude and a tight overall sound, which is strengthened by its simple yet effective chorus.
The old-school rock influence that pops itself into the drum beats every now and then, as in Unmade Plan, is possibly the band’s strongest point and puts a unique twist on what would otherwise be considered standard rock n’ roll. The record ends with the thrash rock, Pretty City, which is another stand out track. However, the lack of diversity in the guitar tones and pace of the tracks makes the journey up to this point quite monotonous.
The Shake Up are a rock n’ roll band but lack enough elements to set them apart from all of the other bands who play this style just as well. The record, produced by Jim Diamond (White Stripes) is a good start for the band, but a fair way off bringing them to the title of one of the best.