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A contemporary rock-and-roll band using vintage gear from the 1960s — but not to make modern music so much as to keep that old party going. Shake Before Us are like the ’60s never ended. Keys player Will Lerner recently forwarded a preview of their forthcoming full-length, Radio Time Bomb. It’s set for release at the end of August. The album is a perfect assemblage of the same sounds that got me through the hellish demands of public school and teen puberty back in the day. The band brought John Reis (Drive Like Jehu, Rocket From the Crypt) back to produce the record and the results are pure sci-fi rock from five decades ago. Reis, who produced their debut, even recorded the band on eight-track tape to secure the authenticity.

Past Event

Shake Before Us, Schitzophonics, New Kinetics

  • Friday, August 29, 2014, 8 p.m.
  • Casbah, 2501 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego
  • 21+ / $7

But it’s a lot more about artistic intent than gear. “Vintage, yet modern at the same time” — their words. They are very good, to the extent that I think they could easily carry their own water on a cover of anything recorded by the king of all ’60s garage rock, Mitch Ryder, if they wanted to.

SBU started in June of 2010. At present, their sound is a blend of old influences with Eric Burdon and the Animals on the top of the heap. Keep in mind that the Animals were considered to be a hard-rock band in their day, even though their music seems civil by comparison to the hard-rock outfits of today. At the core of the reactor of such vintage rock are two distinct sounds: a particular type of organ and vocals that were howled, not sung. Shake Before Us has nailed the concept, and I like them because they remind me of better days. If only we could all go back in time for real. If only it were that simple.

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