Since Riding The Lightning (2020), Matilda Shakes have been busy refining their sound and making a song that is much more even whilst retaining that signature garage style.
Whilst they’ve not lost that punk rock meets garage aesthetic, still incorporating plenty of punchy guitar, a fast pace drum beat, and urgent vocals. Shakedown succeeds in being a much more even song than previous releases such as the aforementioned Riding The Lightning and its A-side counterpart T.I.M.E. By stretching out the run time to 4-minutes rather than the 3-minute rock’n’roll chaos of its predecessors.
Starting off, there’s a much cleaner sound with some real production value built in at its core. Opening the song with a funky bass that really pushes the speedy style that Matilda Shakes have really honed their craft around. It’s prominent throughout the track, and serves as the real rhythm setter and backbone of the track. Combined with a blistering drum beat that keeps to the beat, but succeeds in slipping in several drum and percussion hits for every beat of the song.
With that and some extra synth and after effects slipped in, we’re off to a great start, and it’s just the first verse. There’s an interesting twist here within the song, where the lead guitar doesn’t pick up until the chorus hits, amplifying the crunchy and toe-tap inducing sound tenfold. It’s here where the song gets into full swing and never lets up for the remainder of the runtime. It proceeds to just go all out and takes the listener into one of those fun-filled rock rides that’s just going to leave you feeling good and wanting more.
The vocals here are once again masked with a distortion that’s become a mainstay in Matilda Shakes’ songs since their inception. Carrying a slight distortion that just adds a nice edge and attitude to the vocal performance which, whilst not masking the vocal talent, acts as a nice calling card and stylistic choice for the band. The lyrics here are all about that feeling of partying and shaking off the bad vibes with the titular Shakedown. It’s a nice metaphor, that’s aided by some solid verses that further explain and flesh out the lyrical content.
As far as a single goes, Shakedown shows a lot of improvement over previous efforts, whilst keeping the same stylistic choices and familiar sound of those older songs. There’s this clear journey taking place here and a maturing of songwriting. It doesn’t try to shake up the formula and strive for change, preferring to refine that sound and make it the best it can be.