Shannon & The Clams: Onion review – retro indie-garage-punk
Shannon & The Clams
Easy Eye Sound
Recording their album over 10 days in Dan Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound Studio in Nashville, Shannon & The Clams are the latest act to be touted as the potential saviours of rock’n’roll, hot on the heels of Shame and Starcrawler.
Shannon & The Clams are a kooky Oakland-based indie-garage-punk quartet who are either painfully derivative, or delightfully retro, depending on how much throwback you like in your monitors, and feature two lead singers, Cody Blanchard and Shannon Shaw. Auerbach’s own band The Black Keys can be woefully hit or miss and inconsistent, but their latest proteges actually look and sound like the real deal.
The lead single Backstreets is psychedelic pop wrapped up in an Ennio Morricone-inspired arrangement and a tragic theme – the deaths of 36 people in Oakland’s Ghost Ship warehouse fire in 2016. Blanchard assumes lead vocal duties on the latter, while Shaw responds to the tragedy on the closing track, Don’t Close Your Eyes, a stirring ballad and paean to perseverance and resilience in the face of such heartbreaking loss of human life. Shannon & The Clams bring a soulful sensibility to the table, which immediately sets them apart from many of their posing peers.