Wolly Bully! This album is some good clean fun in the sun, surfs up, let's rock 'n' roll! That's Shannon and the Clams for you. This second album truly is a good time and much more condensed than Time Life's "Oldies But Goodies" CD collection. Let alone enduring Bowzer's antics for the sake of a boost to a summer iTunes. Reeling in that oldies doo-wop is exactly what many of us have yearned for, for years. Remember the first time you put the Beach Boys on at a party?
"Yea man, this is some of my dad's vinyl. He's got all the underground hits."
"Your dad is so cool!"
Dreams in the Rat House goes a little deeper than their honest affinity for oldies like on "Hey Willy". Tracks like "Rat House" and "Bed Rock" spice it up with rockabilly flair and rapid punk ramps. One could listen to this album and find themselves very entertained, start to finish, by Shannon and the Clams' composition- think of a grab-bag of 45s from a garage sale. "I Know" is a fine example, with its psychedelic rock build up paired with Nashville's iconic country-girl vocal swooning. However, if one were to really give this album a close listen they'd find what many of the Oldies But Goodies were missing. The lyricism of "Unlearn" jerk the heart strings like much of Patsy Cline's best, and also carry the guttural groans and energy of Horton Heat psychobilly jams.
Be sure to give Dreams from the Rat House a couple of spins, and let it really unravel. You'll be glad you did, and so will your summer! At its best points this album is the perfect inspiration for all the Kokomo day-dreams of hours spent in the summer sun with sand between toes and beach balls in the air. This album may have a funny way of connecting people through reminiscence, after all these were the same day-dreams that even your dad had one day, way back.
Shannon and the Clams open for Mikal Cronin with Is/Is at 7th Street Entry, June 10th, at 7:30pm. Father's Day is June 16th!