Monday, June 8, 2009

Shook Ones <3 Anthony Michael Hall

It only took me about 12 seconds to fall in love with Shook Ones. Once the blistering tempo change kicked in during my first listen of "For Collards," and frontman Scott Freeman shouted "Independence Day!" from the back of his throat, I immediately was like, YES. It was an uncanny reminder of the very first time I was exposed to hardcore legends Lifetime in high school. This Seattle band takes a bunch of cues from those Jersey stalwarts, from the chugga-chugga guitars (my favorite term ever) and pounding drums to the unabashedly pop singalong choruses.

Their new album, The Unquotable A.M.H. is a short half-hour blast that's perfect for summer drives and circle pits, but beneath all the power, there's an abundance of intelligent thoughts in Freeman's lyrics. Again, an unmistakable Lifetime trait. A.M.H. happens to stand for Anthony Michael Hall, the nerdy 80's movie heartthrob that served as a big inspiration for the album. Explains Freeman: “I feel like the album as a whole, at least in the lyrical sense, is about growth. Just as Anthony Michael Hall grew from teen nerd into psychic intermediary for the dead to speak to the living (see The Dead Zone). OK, maybe not that part, but honestly about the growth part” he says. No need to explain any further. We love it.

The album is due for release next week via Less Than Jake drummer/visionary Vinnie Fiorello's Paper + Plastick Records, a vinyl and digital-only label. Pre-order or purchase digital downloads HERE. Grab the album now, and go catch "Sixteen Candles," or "The Breakfast Club" pretty much any time on TV ever. Oh, and yes, I know we don't usually cover this kind of thing on Stark, but whatever, get happy and rock these jams. Now.

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