Music

The Shaky Hands: Let It Die

Portland-based riff-lords the Shaky Hands strike gold too infrequently on its third album of sweat-soaked rock 'n' roll.


the Shaky Hands

Let It Die

Label: Kill Rock Stars
US Release Date: 2009-09-29
UK Release Date: 2009-10-05
Amazon
Amazon
iTunes

Classic-rock acolytes the Shaky Hands have made a name in Portland music circles for serving up a splintered brand of indie rock held together with rusty nails instead of frilly toothpicks. On its third full-length, Let it Die, the band once again adheres to this aesthetic with crunchy Chuck Berry riffs, singer Nicholas Delffs' gravel-choked rasp, and enough distorted rawness to drown out any conversation at your neighborhood bar. For anyone frustrated with the overly calculated politeness of trendier-leaning indie rock, Let it Die will come as a refreshing blast of sweat-soaked, old-school rock 'n' roll. For everyone else, the album will, depending on the song, alternate between steering-wheel-tapping fun and tiring ennui. The album's most compelling moments, "Allison and the Ancient Eyes" and "All You Recall", brilliantly pair the band's driving, almost danceable riffs with Delff's sobering realizations of growing old. Elsewhere, though, the hooks aren't quite as sharp, and the lyrics are less-painfully poignant. Instead, Delffs moans unconvincingly over uninteresting four-chord rock with all the emotive tunefulness of Bruce Springsteen singing through a tracheotomy.

5
Music


Books


Film


Recent
Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Street Art As Sprayed Solidarity: Global Corona Graffiti

COVID-19-related street art functions as a vehicle for political critique and social engagement. It offers a form of global solidarity in a time of crisis.

Music

Gretchen Peters Honors Mickey Newbury With "The Sailor" and New Album (premiere + interview)

Gretchen Peters' latest album, The Night You Wrote That Song: The Songs of Mickey Newbury, celebrates one of American songwriting's most underappreciated artists. Hear Peters' new single "The Sailor" as she talks about her latest project.

Music

Okkyung Lee Goes From Classical to Noise on the Stellar 'Yeo-Neun'

Cellist Okkyung Lee walks a fine line between classical and noise on the splendid, minimalist excursion Yeo-Neun.

Film

Alastair Sim: A Very English Character Actor Genius

Alastair Sim belongs to those character actors sometimes accused of "hamming it up" because they work at such a high level of internal and external technique that they can't help standing out.

Music

Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers Head "Underwater" in New Video (premiere)

Celebrating the first anniversary of Paper Castle, folksy poppers Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers release an uplifting new video for opening track, "Underwater".

Music

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith's New LP Is Lacking in Songcraft but Rich in Texture

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith's The Mosaic of Transformation is a slightly uneven listen. It generally transcends the tropes of its genre, but occasionally substitutes substance for style.

Music

Buzzcocks' 1996 Album 'All Set' Sees the Veteran Band Stretching Out and Gaining Confidence

After the straightforward and workmanlike Trade Test Transmissions, Buzzcocks continued to hone their fresh identity in the studio, as exhibited on the All Set reissue contained on the new box-set Sell You Everything.

Books

Patrick Madden's 'Disparates' Makes Sense in These Crazy Times

There's no social distancing with Patrick Madden's hilarious Disparates. While reading these essays, you'll feel like he's in the room with you.

Music

Perfume Genius Purges Himself and It's Contagious

You need to care so much about your art to pack this much meaning into not only the words, but the tones that adorn and deliver them. Perfume Genius cares so much it hurts on Set My Heart on Fire Immediately.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Confinement and Escape: Emma Donoghue and E.L. Doctorow in Our Time of Self-Isolation

Emma Donoghue's Room and E.L. Doctorow's Homer & Langley define and confront life within limited space.

Books

Political Cartoonist Art Young Was an Aficionado of all Things Infernal

Fantagraphics' new edition of Inferno takes Art Young's original Depression-era critique to the Trump White House -- and then drags it all to Hell.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.