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Shams | Take Off | review | garage | rock | Lollipop

The Shams

Take Off (Orange)
by Jon Sarre

This band has the generic "garage rocker" elements that loadsa Get Hip (etc.) acts possess and bore me to tears, y'know, "retro sound," "Yeah, yeahs," Farfisa, ad naseum. Somehow The Shams pull it off - mebbe cuz they're from Ohio, I dunno - I'm told the necessary lack of ambition makes for better rock cuz why bother with kissin' ass if there's none around to kiss. Instead of kissin' it, The Shams kick ass pretty alright, they got this real primitive stripped-down sound, not really fuzzy or anything, more of a pre-psychedelic limey deal, but they got the drums miked real weird so they thump along like the Velvets on "Sister Ray" (but with more cymbals and shorter songs). Plus ya got the usual obscure cover songs (two of 'em), the less obscure in-with-the-outcrowd references (to "Suzy Q" and "Five Years Ahead of My Time"), lyrics that more often than not revolve around gettin' fucked up and a guest appearance by Them Wranch's Andrew Wranch, who stops no presses when he sings lead on "I Get High." Stick around for the hidden bonus track, who wrote "Sleepy Hollow" anyway?

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