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: