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EP Review: The Shako self-titled EP - 20 March 2023

Formed by Tabby in 2019 on the Wirral, Merseyside, Shako are one of those bands with a catchy punk attitude and sound of first wave punk from the 70’s, melodic tunes with a deep sense of what’s happening today. The band consist of Tabby on vocals and guitar, Jim Brown on drums, Aggi Clynch also on guitar and vox, and finally John Davies on bass and vocals. All 4 have been musicians for most of their lives, with masses of experience, which clearly shows on this EP, with clear musical ability and skill, along with a passion to make great music.

Covid slowed the band down in 2020 and these four songs were recorded in a Wirral studio in 2021. They are now ready to promote themselves and the songs as much as they can with more recordings planned for late 2023. Any enquiries for gigs etc, please contact the band directly on attached links.

Born Again

Starting off with sweet twangy guitar work, reminiscent of Sham perhaps, this opener gives us an insight into what we once might have been, with the chance to make changes in our lives, hopefully for the better. Some say people never change, maybe true with some, but don’t we all deserve a 2nd chance in life. Time to make that change and not allow our past selves to determine what we can become. Catchy little tune, simple and coherent with a message of hope.

Wrong Direction

Rasping guitar work opens this track and continues throughout, riffs reminding me of very early Tubeway Army…… nice. A common theme these days yet succinctly conveyed to the listener about mental health. People giving the impression they are ok when in fact its quite the opposite. “Don’t wanna be alone but you want to be free, say you’re feeling fine, but you don’t fool me”. Words we hear so often, and at times ending in tragedy. Keep an eye on those close to you and keeping asking if they’re ok.

Where were You?

A cry for help? these words must scream inside the minds of people needing help, yet that person will not speak out. Sometimes they can’t ask for help, or don’t know how to. A sad song lyrically, yet uplifting musically in order to get a desperately important message across for those who need help and guidance. “When you find you’re in a mess you go round. And there’s no escape from your own mind.” No escape from your own mind, horrific situation to be in. Reaching out to others with a helping hand and listening ear.

On the Street

A slightly slower tempo to this somewhat cryptic track, again we twangy guitar intro, going almost immediately to an almost echoey vocal. The words can be translated to a number of scenarios, but to me it shouts out to the plight of the homeless and the broken society in which we exist, and how that same principal of loss and desperation can be applied to all walks of life. Living our lives to the fullest one moment, then seeing it crashing down in an instant. Could happen to anyone. Musically, my fave track of the EP, with a twinge of distance in the actual sound, partly due to the overdub of sounds of the street at the beginning.

This is step in a different direction for Tabby musically, and a brave one at that, considering the wall of noise I am used to hearing from him. To be able to completely change a musical sound and outlook, yet still have the same ethos in music, with the passion to produce it. Yes, its only 4 tracks, but 4 tracks that will pave the way for yet more success for him and the band.

Words: Johnny Reay, Photos: Band Media

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