Reviews The Blind Shake Breakfast of Failures

The Blind Shake

Breakfast of Failures

The Blind Shake have been consistently banging out juicy, syncopatic jams for the better part of a decade now. Breakfast of Failures is their fifth full-length and, with it, continues the evolution. They’ve always been a concise group, focused on big stomping hooks within the confines of a pop structure, and they’ve slowly made their sound less homogenized in the process, branching deeper into psychedelic sounds and wallowing, doomy elements without actually becoming a band one would describe by using either of those adjectives. For lack of a better term, “garage rock,” is still where they predominantly reside.

The exploration of sounds that give depth without removing the urgency continues here on Breakfast. “Pollen” is a good example of where the band is at. While it features their unmistakable stomp, it wallows and bounces, stretching the limits of its confines for four minutes while delivering a build-up of manic energy, just contained, and a cathartic release without any tonal manipulation toward epic cheesiness. Instead, it rides a steady beat, building feedback and pedalwork while the tenor and bass guitars deliver a forceful highway surf-rock that ebbs and flows without tension. It’s masterfully contained within all that energy, never exploding into shards of vitriol and fury, instead pounding but positive. It’s followed by “Young Carnival Waste,” which continues that steady timekeeping but in a new key, with some creative breakdowns to change to flow of the song from its predecessor without abandoning the tone. While the lead (tenor) guitar explores psychedelia territory, it’s more forceful and to the point instead of getting lost in its self-importance. The noise within is a part of the song and not a way station.

Early work by the band was fast and quick, repetitive somewhat to a fault. With each record, the trio of Jim and Mike Blaha and Dave Roper has weaned that repetition down to an art form, leaving it where needed but filling the cracks with walls of new sounds—sounds typically reserved for dark sounding albums while the music from The Blind Shake is always a positive force. Predecessor Key To A False Door did get a bit gloomy, but the 29 minutes on Breakfast of Failures is urgent music, but still fitting for a sunny day.

8.5 / 10Loren
KFAI - Roar of the Underground
Leave a comment



8.5 / 10

8.5 / 10

Share this content
Related features

One Question Interviews The Blind Shake

Posted Nov. 11, 2019, 8:08 p.m.
What's That Noise?

Jim Blaha (The Blind Shake - guitar) SPB: What type of guitar do you play with The Blind Shake and how did you pick that model ...

Music Scene Point Blank's Favorites: The Year So Far (July 2015)

Posted July 5, 2015, 3:42 p.m.

That's right: this year is already half empty. Or half full. Something like that? Metaphors aside, we at SPB have distilled the best music ...

One Question Interviews The Blind Shake

Posted Feb. 7, 2015, 12:27 a.m.

Mike Blaha (The Blind Shake) SPB: You have now released records on a lot of labels. What do you enjoy about changing affiliation with each ...

KFAI - Root Of All Evil
More by The Blind Shake

The Blind Shake

Celebrate Your Worth

7.9 / 10 The Blind Shake - Celebrate Your Worth album cover

I’ve covered The Blind Shake for most of their career so far. Over that time it’s been a steady growth often focused on syncopated and rhythmic rock: forceful, punchy, and ...

The Blind Shake

Fly Right EP

7.5 / 10 The Blind Shake - Fly Right EP album cover

The Blind Shake have honed their sound over the years, always identifiable yet always moving it forward and with a keen difference between records. It’s pretty impressive considering they write ...

The Blind Shake

Key to a False Door

8.9 / 10 The Blind Shake - Key to a False Door album cover

It’s no secret to long-time site readers that I’m a fan of The Blind Shake. The Minneapolis trio has released a run of albums now, both on their own and ...

Related news

Records The Blind Shake in Live in San Francisco series

Posted June 3, 2015, 4:32 p.m.

Minneapolis trio The Blind Shake, who released the Fly Right EP earlier this year in addition to a collaboration with John Reis (Rocket From the Crypt), have announced a live ...

Records Stream The Blind Shake's Fly Right

Posted April 14, 2015, 5:10 p.m.

Minneapolis trio The Blind Shake, who released Breakfast of Failures last year and a collaborative surf project with John Reis in early 2015, have a new EP, Fly Right, out ...

Labels Slovenly announces new Blind Shake and Useless Eaters releases

Posted Feb. 17, 2015, 10:04 a.m.

On April 14, Slovenly has announced two new releases. 1, an EP from The Blind Shake titled Fly Right, and 2, a collection record from Useless Eaters, Singles: 2011-2014, which ...



Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.