Shakers In The Dark – 003 (Get To The Chopper Records)

Shakers in the Dark 003

Opening with sombre synthy ballad Smoke and Mirrors this record takes a few moments to find its feet, but once the processed drumline, tapping away like a woodpecker at a rave, this opening song comes alive, otherwise the reverb heavy vocals have a certain dreary Kasabian-like feel, it’s when the instrumentation is left to play that things work.

Formed on New Year’s day 2009, Shakers in the Dark is the banner under which Dave McSkimming and Paul Green produce music from their North London studio. Over 2010 there were shake ups in the band’s line-up that led to a potential LP being scrapped, but the band – in its current form – has pushed on and been working primarily on putting together recorded output.

Birdseed has a dancefloor momentum and a Northern-soul swagger to the guitars and a burbling, hiccuping drum-beat. As the song gathers pace it turns into something similar to The Music, with Green’s voice equally walking that tight rope between ecstatic and grating that Robert Harvey balanced upon. There’s a little something of Michael Jackson‘s Dirty Diana to the somewhat sleazy guitars of Snowfall, though it’s got a tempo closer to his Blood on the Dancefloor misadventures. Here eighties style synth lines jostle with harshly stabbed guitar chords

Celestial Waters features a vocal shift, with Green suddenly sounding like Damon Albarn, despite that, there’s something quite lovely about this stylistic change to something more laidback and blatantly heartfelt than whats gone before. It sits somewhere between Blur‘s No Distance Left To Run and Out Of Time, a sweet natured and sorrowful tune that is achingly personal and features dreamy, doe-eyed female backing vocals alongside big, bold, cocksure guitar noodling and it all works a treat, even though Green’s voice may waver a bit, the song packs a real emotional punch riding off of the poignant lyric; ‘But he will cruise on calm celestial waters/And you’ll see him again.’

That final track is a glorious ‘sore thumb’ on this record, whilst there’s nothing particularly wrong about the dancefloor-indie tunes that makes up three quarters of this EP there’s a certain ammount of recycled goodwill to each of those tracks, where a little more imagination could go a long way in helping to allow their individual merits to stand out. There’s strong evidence in this record’s closing moments though that Shakers in the Dark have the capability to do something incredibly special in the future as they refine their style and experiment with ideas.


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.