It is fairly easy to form a garage rock band. With the genre's propensity towards lo-fi production, 60's inspired go-go hooks and tongue in cheek, almost camp lyrics, the template is long-established and easy to manoeuvre. Hence, the recent emergence of endless garage-by-numbers indie bands. It is, however, rather more difficult to form a GOOD garage rock band. A band with personality, a band who negotiate the genre well, incorporating a multitude of influences and deviances from the uniform.
Enter Thick Shakes. This Massachussetts-based trio are purveyors of hook-laden, spirited, dirty garage rock, their fuzzed out guitars and meandering bass lines providing the solid framework upon which boy/girl vocals play. Calling to mind bands such as Girlfriends and Happy Burger, Thick Shakes hold their own in an over-saturated and subsequently undervalued arena.
Vocalist and bassist Lindsay talks to The Girls Are about her influences and the band's inception:
"Going to shows in Providence when I was 16, it didn't occur to me that girls could even be in the bands - looked like best case scenario, you could end up a band girlfriend. When I decided to start a band myself around a decade later, I ran into the same stuff anyone would - flaky drummers and logistics, but add to that the fact that every dude playing out didn't want to bother with an amateur. I'd been left behind.
But that's my story, not ours. I finally found two others as green as myself. None of us have played these instruments before: Matt [Mafera] played drums in High School and I held the first clarinet seat in the fifth grade band: Tim [Scholl] played bass in the Specific Heats, but he's on guitar here.
We're obsessed with the grungiest fuzz we can conjure, raunchy bass lines and tongue-in-cheek kiss-offs. We're inspired by bands like Thee Headcoats, Thee Oh Sees and The Monks, radio pop tunes & 60s protopunk."
One of our favourite new bands, keep your eyes peeled for more on these guys. Thick Shakes have recorded the brilliant EP Ooh Mommy on 16-track tape and have released it on cassette on Snugglehound Records. It can also be downloaded in full at thickshakes.net.
Check out Myspace for more details.