The stuff that makes for good listening on Th’ Legendary Shack-Shakers’ Believe mixes Junior Walker “Shoot Your Shot,” Big Walter “Pack Fair and Square” and Booker T. “Green Onions” riffage with dipsomania and farting tales from swamp country.
Most of the time, the singing is a guttural squawk coming through a walkie-talkie or ham-radio broadcast. Serving up claustrophobia and entertainingly contrived madness, the voice is perfect on “Where’s the Devil When You Need Him?”—a song that ends with the sound of “St. Vitus” chopping off the ends of his fingers onto a table. After listening to the CD, you’ll still have no idea what a “bible cyst” is, other than a title, but will have heard quite a few queer noises—backward-chattering weirdos on an outro, a rhythmic flip-blip-blip sound that swings the beat on “Help Me,” and at one point, perhaps, the gaiety of barnyard chickens.
Peddled à la Horton Heat with the alleged cool of rural American perverts and nutcases, it’s too catchy for real screwers of poultry. Now let’s see a sea of hands for that Elvis Hitler revival.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 7, 2004