LUCKY 7 is the feature where we ask artists to name their 6 favourite songs by others, and a lucky 7th song of their own… today it’s a band on the ace Eeasy Records label run by noise scamp Charlie Wyatt of Thee MVPs, who like me originally came from Gravesend on the Thames Estuary, but who has headed North to find punk rock Valhalla. Things haven’t been easy for a man whose aim was to start a Leeds based label to rival his American favs (and mine too truth be told) like Castle Face, In The Red and Touch & Go, not least in the face of a pandemic that has prevented touring and selling of merch (of whose Eeasy has some great stuff including brilliant MTV rip for Thee MVPs). However I very much like the cut of his jib, and I know Charlie’s devotion to the garage rock cause is true and steadfast. He’s been involved in putting together comps for local bands, and he’s also signed the wilfully voluminous shredders The Shakamoto Investigation.
With 12 tracks clocking in at a blistering 33 minutes on their debut album “Existential Bread” – a title reminiscent of a Ty Segall album, the band formed in 2017 and consisting of Sam, Jake and Ellis hail from Leeds, and a bit like the football team, they are no-nonsense, hitting their brand of sinewy noise rock head on like a tackle so late it’s in the street outside the ground after the match. The music is both scratchy and muscular and reminiscent of much of the US 80s/90s angry music that brought me up, mixed in with sausage sandwiches that made me the man I am. Ahem.
I was keen to find out what drives The Shakamoto Investigation and this Lucky 7 is full of favs not least a song by Einstürzende Neubauten whose video “The Garden” I was at the filming for (with MTV’s Alternative Nation) but first this…coincidentally a band called The Garden…
1. (Ellis) The Garden – Good News
Punk/hip hop madness that’s been stuck in my head perpetually since I first heard it a couple of years ago. Top of the playlist at every post-gig gathering.
2. (Ellis) Gang of Four – Cheeseburger
I’ve recently started learning drums so this has been on repeat trying to nail the main groove in this (shoutout to mark). Tried and failed for a long time to play guitar like Andy Gill as well, absolutely perfect post-punk.
3. (Sam) Public Image Ltd – Bad Baby
I love Metal Box and especially this track, got some great memories with it.
4. (Sam) Minutemen – Viet Nam
Mike Watt made me want to pick up bass, love this track and one of the best albums ever
5. (Jake) Einstürzende Neubauten – The Garden
I first heard this when I was a kid and it scared the shit out of me. It reminded me of some fucked up pantomime. Gave me nightmares. Beautiful as it is haunting.
6. Minor Threat – In My Eyes
My first punk record, still listen to it on the regular. Still goes so hard. Bring back 80s hardcore.
(Charlie of Eeasy Records) The Lucky 7th: The Shakamoto Investigation – Half Time Draw
The first hit from a very rocking record, it’s been a stinker trying to release records during the pandemic but when they’re this good you’ve got to heed that call. I haven’t been this amped on something so close to home in a good few years. The Shaka guys have made a killer LP that has all the calling cards of some of the best weirdo 80s hardcore like Big Boys, Minutemen & Meat Puppets but with none of the usual archaic stubborness that comes with the usual fanboys (and yea they are usually boys) for it. That shit was 40 years ago, live in the now and buy something fresh.
THANKS SO MUCH TO THE SHAKAMOTO INVESTIGATION AND TO CHARLIE WYATT OF EEASY RECORDS
“Existential Bread” by The Shakamoto Investigation is out on 29 January via Eeasy Records who are online here: