Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers convince on Pandelirium (see Don Allred review,) that speed kills. Rock ‘n’ roll made while jitterbugging on Ritalin or bitten by a host of fleas, it doesn’t matter:
The Shack Shaker current frenzy shatters all in its path. You’ll be partly convinced it’s the way they wanted it this time if the CD is granted a few days in the changer. Gobbling singer Col. J.D. Wilkes starts the attack with a Russian-Mexican hat dance, “Ichabod.” “South Electric Eyes,” “Iron Lung Oompah” follow, great titles for songs you can’t remember anything of a few seconds after they’ve blown through the room. “No Such Thing” deceives the listener by being momentarily catchy. But just when you’re thinking things are looking up, it’s back to breaking a sweat being mercilessly busy with polkas and theme music. Looking for another way to describe the nature of the unexpected disaster, the word “tortured” is spied on the back of the promotional copy.
On Sloppy, Fast & Loud, though, Electric Boogie Dawgz do what the Shack Shakers couldn’t this time out: rock and make you laugh. And they do it through boogie—ripping off ZZ Top licks, the attitude of David Lee Roth, and the idea that happy drunks telling jokes are the best philosophers. The title cut has the guitar player giving shout outs to his favorite six-string heroes, and then playing the same fill sloppy and fast for each of them, except for Eric Clapton, whom he correctly appraises as having been pretty lame for awhile. Temperance is not a good choice, according to the Dawgz: It made a friend suck, and increases friction in the journey through life.
The difference between the Boogie Dawgz and the Shack Shakers is one of existentialism. The Dawgz wouldn’t mind their fans going to Hell because that means booze and barbecue like mad in the here and now. The Shack Shakers believe that in the freight yards and coal mines of the back country there are many Hells, so to get through them fast, make the music on stimulants.