CD REVIEW Shaking Godspeed

Band : Shaking Godspeed
Album title : Hoera
Label : Suburban Records
Distributor : Suburban
Release date : 24/02/2012
Release : CD/ LP

Started some two and a half years ago (that would be it the Summer of 2009), this Gelderland (Mid-East area of Holland, situated roughly between Enschede in the east, Nijmegen in the South, Dordrecht in the West, and Zwolle in the North) based band consisting of singer/ guitarist Wout Kemkens, bass/ organ player & second singer Paul Diersen, and drummer Maarten Rischen set out to play music which would be absolutely original. In order to attain this, main songwriter Wout always brings his ideas forth to the others, and when they come to the conclusion that it reminds 'em of some of such band, the idea is consequently thrown out of the winter. Which does not ean that what the band brings here is a totally new musical genre! No, they bring a delightfully retro Psychedelic Rock with a Punky feel, like one might've come across at the end of the '60s or the beginning of the '70s!

Before too long, the boys signed to Quadrofoon Records, who released the band's self-titled 5-track EP in February 2010, following it up with the full-length Awe in October that same year! The album got some national rave reviews (9/10 at nu.nl, 92/100 in Up Magazine, and Oorstating, “veel beter dan dit krijg je het niet in Nederland” - meaning “you don't get much better than this is Holland”), but this did nót get the band the usual airplay and/ or concert offers. And that as actually exactly as the wanted it, because they were not looking for a full-frontal breakthrough, and most importantly, it allowed 'em to take their time and follow their own instincts in writing the material for a follow-up album. In the meantime the band did over 200 shows, a fair portion of which in small venues throughout France and Spain...plus some in Germany...had their own national headlining tour (including bigger venues), and played at bigger festivals such as Sziget(Budapest, Hungary), Appelpopand Zwarte Cross (the latter two Dutch events). Along the way the trio also also gained the respect of Dutch media giant Linda de Mol, whom openly spoke out her admiration for the band's music.

The new album was apparently recorded the old way, on tape, in some barn of their homebase neighborhood, and contains 11 delightful tunes with a retro Psychedelia vibe. Of course, wherever the Hammond organ is used, that becomes almost obvious (I'm sure Wout's gonna hate me for mentioning it, but there's even some the Doors reminiscences there), but the same atmosphere also exhudes from the other tracks thanks to somewhat repetitive tunes and simply great lead/ backing vocal interplay! In essence, this is an essential buy for anyone into '60s & '70s Psychedelic Rock, and if you won't believe that from me off hand, just listen to some music at (www.) shakinggodspeed.com (in the “bandcamp” section you have a link to listen to full-length versions of the songs “Hoera” and “Gong Gong”, and iTunes gives one the possibility to listen to samples of both the previous album and the debut EP). Oh...and greatest thing of all: the album is available in gatefold LP, issued through Quadrofoon Records. Vinyl junkies are gonna have a field day! I'm definitely trying to get myself a copy as well! Hey, also check out the album (review) of labelmates Birth Of Joy!

98/100

Tony.