It was only recently that retro rockers Shannon and The Clams had us excited with the release of Point Of Being Right, the second single from their forthcoming album Gone By The Dawn. That infectious track set anticipation for the album skyrocketing, and as its release date creeps ever closer, we can safely tell you that the anticipation has been worthwhile. Written “as one member was recovering from a serious breakup and another was deep in one,” Gone By The Dawn is dripping with emotion, yet maintains the element of bouncy fun that the band does so well.
Shannon and The Clams’ signature vintage surf guitar sound is put into play from the off, as the album gets off to a lively start with I Won’t Miss The Jasmine. The opening track instantly induces bopping with its twirly riff that, rather surprisingly fits perfectly with lead singer Shannon Shaw’s sultry, melancholy sounding vocals. The twirly guitars reverberate throughout the album’s entirety, however it would be an injustice not to say that there’s something distinctly different about each and every track. As a whole, the album is pretty genre defying; there’s 50’s doo wop, 60’s girl group, surf, garage punk, you name it. There’s even an essence of trip hop in Corvette, a dreamy sounding psychedelic ballad. On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have the kicking Knock ‘em Dead, a punchy, angry number full of scuzzy guitars and raucous vocals – it will take you from happy bopping to frantic headbanging in a matter of seconds.
In addition to the eclectic blend of genres, there’s a certain something about Shannon and The Clams’ music that makes you want to crack out your 50’s prom wear and dance Grease-style all night. How Long sounds like it was drawn straight from the movie’s soundtrack with similarities to Those Magic Changes, and Shaw’s vocals are laced with longing in a way that draws you to feel her emotion yourself. Similarly, the album’s title track Gone By The Dawn is beautifully melodic and nostalgic sounding with its Unchained Melody-esque riff and melancholy chorus.
In short, Gone By The Dawn is a complete triumph. Blending genres in a way that still makes for a perfectly polished yet raw record is not exactly an easy feat to achieve, and the fact that Shannon and The Clams have done so in such impeccable style proves their true musicianship. This may just be their best work yet.
Words by Tabby Green