The Shook – Retrograde (2021)

If you are in the mood for a new take on blues-rock, The Shook have what you need with Retrograde. Their EP offers some wild guitars, fun vibes and a bit of familiarity through each track. Through all of this, a little edge of 90s rock comes through for a versatile and blended soundscape. With some deep grooves and fervid guitars, they bring a touch of gloom to a lot of fun.

This blended sound comes from Andrew Newville (vocals), Ben Stephenson (guitar), Derek Keller (bass) and Brandon Billings (drums). The band started out at improvising sessions at parties attended by Newville and Stephenson. Over time, they found their sound through jamming with different incarnations of the band before the line-up became permanent.

The EP opens with ‘Fade’ which hits you with an infectious guitar line. The guitar line hooks you before the drums come in with a groovy depth that rocks out in the lower levels. Against this, the vocals are a combination of warmth and gloom that is utterly addicting. The lyrics add to the contrasting feeling of the vocals bringing an understanding of self and an awareness of negatives in life.

‘New Dawn’ brings a pulsing vibe to it that is as addictive as the depths of the opening track. The rolling drums shove you into the chorus while your muscles feel the need to move. There is a larger hit of 90s rock in this track but this has been wonderfully fused to the contemporary blues-rock vibes of the low levels. While the melody has a pulsing feeling, the vocals are quite gloomy. There is a depression in the lyrics that pulls you down while getting you completely lost in the vibes of the music.

The music takes another turn for ‘Unblind’ offering a slightly fuzzy feeling with a punch of seductive tones. There is a great groove to the music that makes you want to sway into the darkness of the track. It is like a velveteen cloak wrapping around you and drawing you into the twilight tones. The vocals match this with a sultry slide to them that beckons you into the depths. This is enhanced by the lyrics and the soaring guitar solos that sink into your brain.

The EP comes to an end with ‘Two Years Gone’ which uses an intriguing guitar line to draw you in. The layered guitars slide into the drums before you are picked up by the vocals. There is a wonderful vibe to this track that has you floating in the soundscape. The rolling drums get your feet tapping to the beat before you consciously think about it. The chorus is really catchy and you might just find yourself singing along to it.

The Shook hit you with a fusion of blues-rock and retro rock tones for the slightly gloomy yet utterly engaging EP Retrograde. Each track has a different vibe while retaining the undertones of gloom and addictive guitars. There is a moodiness to the music that inundates your senses and has you stuck in place until the band is ready to let you go.

Find out more about The Shook on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify.

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