The Shams

Take Off

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The Shams' debut disc is a cave-stompin' garage rock collection that owes a huge debt to the Seeds, the Velvet Underground, the Stooges, and anyone else who woke up the neighborhood on a Saturday morning somewhere in mid-'60s middle America with a spirited blast of bass, guitar, drums, battered keyboards, and scratchy vocals. Take Off is an enjoyable lo-fi affair chock-full of cheesy organ sounds, way too much reverb (which is a good thing), amplifier buzz, and four guys looking to meet girls. Each track is a rollicking pastiche of eighth- and 16th-note rhythms that are rendered slightly out of time and just a pinch out of key. Down, but not out of the mix, Zach Gabbard howls à la Mick Jagger and Jim Morrison, as did countless musically inclined delinquent teenagers in decades past. His partners in crime kick out the jams as if their lives depended on it, relying primarily on simplicity and volume. Kudos to the boys for covering Alan Tousssaint's dirty funky "Get out My Life Woman" and the goofy space jam that somehow found its way into the bridge of "I Get High." As long as there are concrete enclosures for parking, and as long as there are young men who want to be rock stars and impress the cute blonde cheerleader in chemistry class, there will be bands like the Shams. Long live rock & roll.

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