The second album by the Cinch finds the Vancouver quintet taking giant steps away from the vintage new wave influences of their self-titled debut. The group, led by singers Jennifer Smyth and Kathy Dube, is still somewhat beholden to the likes of Television and the Modern Lovers (the last especially on the five and a half minute "Forwards and Backwards," on which Smyth openly mimics the awkward vocal style of the young Jonathan Richman over a careening drone with hints of "Sister Ray"), but a more urgent feel predominates on Shake if You Got It. Between the metronomic rhythms of the three-guitar front line and the prominent rhythm section of drummer C.C. Rose and new bassist Geoff Thompson, echoes of the Feelies, early Stereolab, the Fall, the Velvet Underground, and Neu! appear all over this album. (And with its breathless forward momentum and crisscrossing vocal lines, the opening "Get Up and Get Out" raises favorable comparisons to the group's much more polished Vancouver compatriots, the New Pornographers.) That description makes it sound like the Cinch are merely aping their influences, but in fact, Shake if You Got It is a smart, melodic, cohesive album that blends all of the group's many influences into something unique and exciting.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason