The Shaken Growlers make bar band/garage rock in the Pacific Northwest USA and if you went and saw them in your local bar you'd probably want a copy of the CD they'd be flogging afterwards. Now, having not seen them, I'm hearing this sober and just on a stereo, so does it still grab me?
The opening Weekly Special races out of the speakers with a good bass rumble and decent singalong lyrics about how to spend your week having a good time - especially on thirsty Thursday.
Bag 'em could be the clarion cry the band are used to hearing all day long at the day job as each customer wants the groceries packed for them, though it could just be a good bit of shout-y estuary rock. Not sure which estuary mind, certainly not the Thames that this sound sort of derives from.
Everybody Hates That Guy sounds like they have slowed down The Witchdoktors who they also sound like they'd make a good double bill with. The bass sounds like Chachee Morokin is duck walking as he's playing it before a very cool guitar solo kicks in. Oh, and yes - they hate that guy but who is he? Yep, the guy everyone hates of course!
Hoover sounds like it might be about a friend who hoovers up all the lines of amphetamines. They need to get up to speed even if he's out in the woods with a very nicked off of Wilko feel to the guitar lines. Empty Party-Full Keg sounds like a set opener at far too many shows where the band just hope and pray someone shows up to make it worthwhile. Or that everyone comes in from the smoking area. It sounds like an Elvis-esque crooned slow song vocally to make sure we all feel as morose as the band do at another empty party.
The first cover is Gypsies, Tramps And Thieves. It's almost played for comic effect only they should have gone full on Psychobilly with it and really amped it up a lot more than they do. It's fast but not nearly speedy enough. I'm sure live it would fly by in a whirlwind. Certainly not the worst version I've heard of this old chestnut.
Hoarder is a decent paean to the hoarders they have been watching on reality TV and how the lyrics are sort of like an episode of one of the shows put into song. It sort of works, too. If She Wants It, they'll give to her yeah. You don't need to hear it to know how a garage rocker like this sounds as they beg her and promise everything to get her.
Apocalypse is proper amphetamine garage rock, which asks the question: The world's gonna end how about me and you? Well, with guitars like this and a delivery that is a bit like Volbeat meets Robert Gordon they might just save that relationship if they are lucky.
Life Supply is a bit too background. The sort of song you don't pay too much attention to as it sounds like too many other songs. It's OK but nothing to make it stand out. Slabtown is seemingly about those people that go and buy their beer by the slab and the results of drinking said brews.
Too Many Fuckers is no doubt the song they play when things are going wrong at a gig and they want to call out the biggest assholes in the joint. Here, though, they just point the finger at...well, everyone everywhere like it's a watered down re-working of The Parkinsons Too Many Shut-Ups.
The album closes with the second cover and this time it's AC/DC: a song I'm used to hearing Joan Jett sing and the change of sex kind of takes away the impact. Instead of sounding like they are the ones playing both sides of the fence, it sounds more like they have been cheated on and don't like it too much. It's not a bad version but it sort of doesn't come across as personally as Joan makes it sound.
So yes the album does work but you're far more likely to go and buy it after seeing them live than just go and buy it on its own merits. If you wanna indulge, go to:
Green Monkey Records online
The Shaken Growlers Facebook page