By Steve Weinstein
By Bryan Bierman
By Lindsey Rhoades
By Chaz Kangas
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Jena Ardell
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Katherine Turman
Th' Legendary Shack Shakers' Pandelirium begins with a triumphantly swooping cackle, same as the beginning of the Ventures' immortal "Wipe Out." Once again we begin at the end and enter the Afterlife, this time galloping along on a kind of punk metal surfabilly polka, sporting a well-placed glockenspiel, pursued by horsemen: Headless of course, the better to deeply threnodize, "Ich-a-boh, hoh, hoh, hoh, ah-ah-odd."
All of which might be almost unbearably novelty-poo, except that: (1) Didn't poor you always suspect the Afterlife would be this bizzy buzzy bizzy, same as it ever 'twa(t)s? Also: (2) There is an everpoppin' kernel of anger in head Shaker Col. J.W. Wilkes's manically vivid nasality. He rages, not only at the dying but the frying of the light, by the cruelty of triflin', nature-stiflin'/-sportin' Man and his Maker. Of course, anger has been known to lead to cruelty, which is both facilitated and countered by J.W.'s cartoony voice and lyrics. Which: (3) are (usually) given sufficient dimensions by the music: 32 minutes of the toss and slice of the dice, till spring is here, and you're in. Now run along, like a good little ghost!
Th' Legendary Shack Shakers play the Mercury Lounge April 6