Garage punk rock from Calfornia: on 20th August 2021, Shannon and the Clams release their sixth album. It is called Year of Spider. Here are my thoughts about it.
Shannon And The Clams – About The Artists
The band has been founded in 2009 in Oakland, California. The still work with the same lineup, lead by vocalist and bassist Shannon Shaw. The other members are keyboarder Will Sprot, Cody Blanchard on the guitar and drummer Nate Mahan. Despite their six album releases (the previous one was the 2018 album Onion), the band is majorly famous for their performance live on stage.
Shannon And The Clams – Year Of The Spider – Track by Track
The thirteen song album lasts 39 minutes.
1. Do I Wanna Stay
Honestly, I got this album from a promotion company and had no idea about what kind of music these guys will present to me. The press kit says something like unique vintage sound or elements of doo-wop, classic R&B, garage-psych and surf rock. Do you now feel how Shannon & The Clams would listen like? I didn’t – but have to say that the description is not too bad. The slow opener starts with a strong groove, a touch of summer – and feels outdated in a beautiful way. Not like the days when I was young – but the ones before. Cool experience. Twelve more to go.
2. All of My Cryin’
When Shannon Shaw starts the chorus of All of My Cryin’ with the words It’s My Life, I so much feel like being in the middle of the vintage version of No Doubt’s classic track. Already the second line distracts me – slightly – from that thought.
3. Midnight Wine
Didn’t I mention the garage-psych thing in the press kit? This track is having a stronger electronic distortion and comes with this typical psychedelic melodic monotony. Midnight Wine is too confused – and confusing – to me.
4. I Need You Bad
New song, very different character again: the keys are a key part of the song, which is having a slow, swaying, almost blues-alike vibe. The chorus, which is having a stronger summer touch, leads to a rather nice listen.
5. Year of the Spider
The title track is put rather in the middle. Doesn’t this one take you back to the 1960’s? Could have been a reserve track on the Dirty Dancing movie.
6. In the Hills, in the Pines
1980’s style keyboard sounds back the rather slow In the Hills, in the Pines. So hard to believe that all these songs are all on the same album. But due to the rather short songs, you just don’t have too much time to reflect about this song – the next one is just about to incept.
Godstone even comes with small breaks between the chorus and the verses – which makes it even harder for me to explain the character of the track. A really crazy, but also fascinating sound.
8. Snakes Crawl
Four chords and the truth? The guitarist in this track does not have the most exciting 3:18 minutes of his life, very monotonous arrangement. Apart from that i feel with the poor guy on the strings, I feel to go for the skip button – Snakes Crawl does not really touch me.
9. Mary, Don’t Go
A light and easy melody in a classic 1960’s style (don’t you feel a bit of Be My Baby in this one?). Good listen.
10. Leaves Fall Again
The tenth track is driven by a very quick stepping rhythm and a melodic line, which again references surfing music. The Beach Boys in an extreme hurry – or simply Shannon & The Clams!
11. Flowers Will Return
Apart from the somehow “special” recordings, which might also lead to some confusion, the album also features beautiful, very melodic compositions. One is indeed Flowers Will Return, which could have also be a good option for a nostalgic love movie soundtrack.
Crawl, which is majorly performed with a very high falsetto voice, it is the shortest song of the album. Interesting interaction between the high notes, bass sounds and the backing vocal, which rhythmically shout Crawl.
Vanishing closes the album with a raspy voice ballad. A song which stays in your mind again (in a positive sense).
Shannon And The Clams – Year Of The Spider – Spotify
Here is Year Of The Spider on Spotify:
Shannon And The Clams – Year Of The Spider – My View
Honestly, reviewing albums like Year Of The Spider feel to be the most difficult tasks on Flyctory.com to me. The musical quality is good, the album is versatile. While I generally prefer longer, more epic songs, I feel the quickly changing songs are a plus here – if the band is doing too weird, there is a change very soon. The album has moments, which fascinate and entertain me. But if there wasn’t this review, I wouldn’t have been able to stand listening to the full 39 minutes. Thus, the rating just cannot be on top level.
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