PopMatters is moving to WordPress. We will publish a few essays daily while we develop the new site. We hope the beta will be up sometime late next week.

Bronze Radio Return: Shake! Shake! Shake!

An inspiring band from Hartford, CT, sets out to move the crowd.

Bronze Radio Return

Shake! Shake! Shake!

Label: Independent
US Release Date: 2011-03-19
UK Release Date: Import

On it’s sophomore full-length recording, the Hartford, CT, based Bronze Radio Return (BRR) continues to define its sound. Shake! Shake! Shake! is a well-produced and polished CD that finds the band continuing to move beyond the roots rock leanings of its debut EP. The sound is a clear move toward a more radio friendly, rock/pop sound, yet its is anything but trite, clichéd or overtly commercial. This is hook laden modern rock meant to get souls moving.

BRR seems to be aware of its youth as a band and the uphill challenge it faces of declining recorded music sales, yet it is confident enough to draw fans in with its stage presence. Opener “Down There” gives the record its kick-start with a pounding one-two bass and snare drum beat and chiming electric guitar. It’s a call-out to fans, old and new, to join the band as it plays on a mountainside; “It’ll be just us and the trees, and a little fresh air”, or on the city streets -- “Meet me in the city where the streets run down/Gather up the crowd in an empty town”. The title track is a catchy foot tapper that features a steady cadence of hand claps and rat-a-tat percussion that pleads for one person on the floor to lead the way, start moving and the crowd will follow.

Ghosts of the sea haunt this album in several tracks. “Wonder No More” is a melodic sea chantey (catch a wave on the “oh, oh, oh” chorus) that soars along on a rhythmic keyboard and haunting lead vocal -- “A mile down the road that the black stones pave/I ran from the sea and got caught by her wave/she took me away”. And “Broken Ocean” contemplates global warming and imagines a water world of sorts with lessons learned the hard way: “When the lesson’s learned and written on a page/I’ll buy the book to watch it burn and save the ashes/For soon arrives an age, a loss of innocence when we get judged in every way/That stops the splashes/stops the splashes”. It’s got a bit of a country and western noir to it with cowboy whistles and gently laced banjo in the background.

The turbulent “Warm Day, Cold War” rides along on a rolling bass groove and spiraling guitar shards, while the too pleasant, poppy tone of the acoustic ditty “Sell It To You” takes a shot at crass commercialism, and could very well be specifically referencing today’s popular music -- “It’s something new/Or becoming long overdue/Simon says it’s not what it is man/It’s how its sold to you”. Closer “Sticks and Stones” is a lovely but aching, acoustic guitar and piano ballad that begs of the song's protagonist to get out of a house and/or town that does nothing but bring him/her down.

Shake! Shake! Shake! Is a fun and enjoyable listen for music fans of any genre, from a band on the cusp of success.


Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology and hosting provider that we have less than a month, until November 6, to move PopMatters off their service or we will be shut down. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to save the site.





Laura Veirs Talks to Herself on 'My Echo'

The thematic connections between these 10 Laura Veirs songs and our current situation are somewhat coincidental, or maybe just the result of kismet or karmic or something in the zeitgeist.


15 Classic Horror Films That Just Won't Die

Those lucky enough to be warped by these 15 classic horror films, now available on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection and Kino Lorber, never got over them.


Sixteen Years Later Wayne Payne Follows Up His Debut

Waylon Payne details a journey from addiction to redemption on Blue Eyes, The Harlot, The Queer, The Pusher & Me, his first album since his 2004 debut.


Every Song on the Phoenix Foundation's 'Friend Ship' Is a Stand-Out

Friend Ship is the Phoenix Foundation's most personal work and also their most engaging since their 2010 classic, Buffalo.


Kevin Morby Gets Back to Basics on 'Sundowner'

On Sundowner, Kevin Morby sings of valleys, broken stars, pale nights, and the midwestern American sun. Most of the time, he's alone with his guitar and a haunting mellotron.


Lydia Loveless Creates Her Most Personal Album with 'Daughter'

Given the turmoil of the era, you might expect Lydia Loveless to lean into the anger, amplifying the electric guitar side of her cowpunk. Instead, she created a personal record with a full range of moods, still full of her typical wit.


Flowers for Hermes: An Interview with Performing Activist André De Shields

From creating the title role in The Wiz to winning an Emmy for Ain't Misbehavin', André De Shields reflects on his roles in more than four decades of iconic musicals, including the GRAMMY and Tony Award-winning Hadestown.


The 13 Greatest Horror Directors of All Time

In honor of Halloween, here are 13 fascinating fright mavens who've made scary movies that much more meaningful.


British Jazz and Soul Artists Interpret the Classics on '​Blue Note Re:imagined'

Blue Note Re:imagined provides an entrance for new audiences to hear what's going on in British jazz today as well as to go back to the past and enjoy old glories.


Bill Murray and Rashida Jones Add Another Shot to 'On the Rocks'

Sofia Coppola's domestic malaise comedy On the Rocks doesn't drown in its sorrows -- it simply pours another round, to which we raise our glass.


​Patrick Cowley Remade Funk and Disco on 'Some Funkettes'

Patrick Cowley's Some Funkettes sports instrumental renditions from between 1975-1977 of songs previously made popular by Donna Summer, Herbie Hancock, the Temptations, and others.


The Top 10 Definitive Breakup Albums

When you feel bombarded with overpriced consumerism disguised as love, here are ten albums that look at love's hangover.


Dustin Laurenzi's Natural Language Digs Deep Into the Jazz Quartet Format with 'A Time and a Place'

Restless tenor saxophonist Dustin Laurenzi runs his four-piece combo through some thrilling jazz excursions on a fascinating new album, A Time and a Place.


How 'Watchmen' and 'The Boys' Deconstruct American Fascism

Superhero media has a history of critiquing the dark side of power, hero worship, and vigilantism, but none have done so as radically as Watchmen and The Boys.


Floodlights' 'From a View' Is Classicist Antipodal Indie Guitar Pop

Aussie indie rockers, Floodlights' debut From a View is a very cleanly, crisply-produced and mixed collection of shambolic, do-it-yourself indie guitar music.


CF Watkins Embraces a Cool, Sophisticated Twang on 'Babygirl'

CF Watkins has pulled off the unique trick of creating an album that is imbued with the warmth of the American South as well as the urban sophistication of New York.


Helena Deland Suggests Imagination Is More Rewarding Than Reality on 'Something New'

Canadian singer-songwriter Helena Deland's first full-length release Someone New reveals her considerable creative talents.


While the Sun Shines: An Interview with Composer Joe Wong

Joe Wong, the composer behind Netflix's Russian Doll and Master of None, articulates personal grief and grappling with artistic fulfillment into a sweeping debut album.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

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