Shivery Shakes are a local outfit consisting of the mergence of two past bands: The Bubbles and International Waters. These four gentlemen released a self titled EP back in 2012 and have been making waves through their live act all over town in which they’ve showed off their fuzzy lo-fi sunshine garage pop. This debut, Three Waves & A Shake, is their first attempt at a full-length release, and its combination of witty lyrics buried under the sheen of shimmery guitars will have you shaking it all day long.
“Recurring Dreams” may be your first introduction to this band, but it’s definitely not a bad place to start your love affair. Immediately, you get a bit of wandering guitar that sounds like it’s waking up as you ease into their sound. Following is some gentle whistling that screams easy-going and then the hazy vocals chime into the mix; they’ve got this slight echo/reverb to them that makes them feel far away and yet right next to you while they engage you in the narrative of the song. Meanwhile, the guitars are wide-awake, and so is the track, but it keeps pulling you further in. Two-thirds of the way through, you get this little break down where the vocals kick out and the band gets to simmer their way back to a boil, layering the instrumentation upon itself again before they launch into final chorus. This an excellent beginning to the record, one which should not only have you hooked, but swooning.
What’s special about this bouncy record is that this group avoids the phenomenon of redundancy that often overtakes albums, such as this, that fall into the genre of fuzzy jangle rock. Until its close, Shivery Shakes keep it fresh and crispy, but not overdone. Take “Strange Houses,” the eighth track on the record, to be an example of the band reinventing their sound to keep you interested. Here, you can hear the Surfer Blood-esque crashing waves of guitars that melt into one riff after another. While this starts as a mellow tune, soon we unearth this uneasy feeling with the band. The song asks, “at the moment I lose it, how will I tell?” prompting a shift from the winding sunset riffs to cutting tangy guitar for a moment of nervous instrumentation before a return to the chill vibes of earlier. It’s the little details like this that make each song stand apart from the other and make you want to spin this record from start to finish.
This album is brimming with sunny jangly pop/rock that makes you want to put on your sunglasses and take a drive with the windows down, seizing full advantage of the lack of fall weather that Austin is benefitting from these days. Hell, wherever you are, put on Three Waves & A Shake and your sunglasses and have a blast dancing with this record and Shivery Shakes. You won’t be sorry you did: music-scout’s honor.