Because Songs Matter

THE LEGENDARY SHACK SHAKERS – AGRIDUSTRIAL


Come on now, you knew I was gonna write about a new Legendary Shack Shakers release eventually, right? I am, admittedly, late getting to this, the Shack Shakers’ 5th studio effort (and first of the post-David Lee era), but please don’t take that as a sign that Agridustrial is a bad album. ‘Cause it’s exactly the opposite.

The Shack Shakers closed out their Tentshow Trilogy, as well as their relationship with Yep Roc, back in 2007 with what I thought was their best effort to date, Swampblood. The band seemed to quiet down a little and let the finer points of their music stand out from the chug and grind we fans have grown so used to. If the title of this effort didn’t clue you in, Agridustrial ain’t that. To quote J.D., “Agridustrial is the statement of an American band fighting back against a society gone mad with greed and the usurpation of basic human dignities…the sound of Agridustrial is a direct response to the present day recession in foreshadowing the looming collapse that awaits to return us back to self-sufficiency…” The “dustrial” part of the album comes from the use of the sounds of hammers, anvils, tongs, cranks and chains that the band recorded at a local blacksmith shop and which are being used in the percussion tracks of the album. All of this comes together to easily create one of the heaviest and loudest Shack Shaker albums to date, and I can’t get enough of it. Agridustrial isn’t just essential listening, it’s essential studying. On their surface, LSS are a large, loud, Southern gothic band with a snot launching, pube tossing, harmonica playing leprechaun for a frontman, but even a half-assed effort into figuring out the message of Agridustrial (and most other LSS albums) will prove the JD Wilkes and Co. are preaching a message of a dying way of life to anyone willing to listen. I think this message is especially poignant right now as Big Oil ruins the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf Coast, taking with it peoples’ way of life 5 or 6 generations deep, all the while putting as much (if not more) effort into controlling information leaks as they are the oil leak…..but I digress, so let’s just get back to the music:

The Legendary Shack Shakers - Hoboes are My Heroes     

The Legendary Shack Shakers - Dixie Iron Fist     

The Legendary Shack Shakers - Nightride     

The Legendary Shack Shakers’ Official Site, The Legendary Shack Shakers on myspace, Buy Agridustrial

4 Comments

  1. Colinski Colinski
    June 14, 2010    

    Really, you think Swampblood was their best effort to date? It’s my very least favorite album of theirs. And I mean out of ALL of ’em, going back to “J.D.’s Tasteless Chill Tonic” from back when they were just a bluesy rockabilly band. Cockadoodledon’t and Pandelerium are my top two.

    Not only does Swampblood not excite me, I have found that their live shows lack the energy they once had as well. J.D. has not been the “snot launching, pube tossing, harmonica playing leprechaun” he once was when I first saw them the last couple times I’ve seen them. He’s really toned down the act. Maybe he’s just tired by the time he reaches L.A. on tour now, but each time I’ve seen them the performance has been slightly less energetic and insane than the time before.

  2. June 14, 2010    

    don’t get me wrong. the gap between fave and least fave shack Shaker album could easily be bridged with a lincoln log but yes, I think swampblood is there best album. I love the fact that they were willing to slow it down, spread it out and show that yes! they can actually play those instruments. I think it added depth to the band. That said, you’re not wrong thet the band seems to be slowing down in general a little. J.D.’s stage show has started to change but in all fairness, it was getting old anyway. It’s good to see the band change instead of holding (clinging) to a character/image they created as younger/wilder kids (o rly eyes on III).

  3. Berni Berni
    June 15, 2010    

    I saw them a couple of weeks ago, but it was for the first time. If that was a toned down performance, well, I can’t imagine what it was like before! They were LOUD and heavy and I loved it.

  4. June 15, 2010    

    Excellent review.

    Saw them on Saturday and they killed. I think they were esp. pissed because they got booked first in front of Cracker, and they made whoever made that decision look like an ass.

    We must be on the same wavelength cause I just posted my JD interview

    http://www.savingcountrymusic.com/interview-w-the-shack-shakers-jd-wilkes

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