Reviews The Blind Shake Celebrate Your Worth

The Blind Shake

Celebrate Your Worth

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 precise. The kind of rock that you can set your watch to, while still angry and striking a deeper chord. They’ve taken some turns along the way: their collaborations with Michael Yonkers and John Reis being the most obvious examples. With the new Celebrate Your Worth, they’ve stepped on a distortion pedal and let their sound stretch out even further.

What stands out about Celebrate Your Worth is that the vocals are less unison and the songs are more spacey, letting the psych rock reverb drench over the 9-song 31-minute album. I’m not going to bother looking it up, but topping the half-hour mark may make this their longest effort to date. A good chunk of it is pedal-heavy guitar exploration within their unique instrumental arrangement led by the brothers Blaha: Jim on guitar, Mike on baritone guitar (and let’s not forget drummer extraordinaire Dave Roper).

It starts in familiar territory with “I Shot All the Birds,” a stomper with a haunting beat and rumbling undercurrents that chant repetitively in perfect time. It’s reminiscent of their work with Yonkers, but a hair more “Blind Shake.” The vocals are more sung than their standard head-bobbing tone and in “Reasonable World” it pulls the two elements together wonderfully, taking that ominous psycho-out vibe but adding a sunny surf guitar that cuts through the clouds in a dramatic breakthrough that shows a new direction for the band.

“Society of Plants” is more snide, even with a hint of call and response vocals at the refrain, giving a more sinister tone in place of the haunting descriptor used earlier. The record shows a lot more variety and it’s all pulled together by the unique instrumental bridges and overall tone that the band has mastered over their discography. It’s equal parts garage, surf, and psych while not really being any of the three either. Through it all, it’s about tight musicianship, subtle variation and depth, and a unified tone.

“Corpse on a Roof” is a perfect middle between Breakfast of Failures and this one, using the familiar perfect time while splicing in more powerful guitar leads and stretching out to 3:31 in length.

Previous releases from The Blind Shake were more stompers and head boppers. Celebrate Your Worth is the tripped out cousin to that soundtrack. It’s still right in line, stylistically, but it sets a different mood that’s more contemplative instead of let loose. But just a little.

7.9 / 10Loren
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