Sunday, July 13, 2008

We Miss You SamIam! So Chill That Ham

Shadowy Men From A Shadowy Planet
Dim The Lights, Chill The Ham

Revitalizing and upgrading (@320) a posting made by my friend SamIam over at Rocks In My Pocket ( back in '06. Sam has been pretty quite up there for awhile now. Hoping that the summer heat thaws him out soon.

More rockin' instrumentals from those three Toronto lads as promised. The tracks on this, their second CD, have a more polished and less garage feel but haven't lost any of their fire. More than just surf, they meld a myriad of genres to provide you with a well balanced album that keeps you guessing what will come next (though I for one would be more than satisfied with straight surf! must have more surf!). I'm glad they haven't lost the sense of humour they showed in their first release.

While Savvy Show Stoppers is obviously the most immediately worthwhile of Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet's releases -- and only true fans of the band will feel a need to own more than one of their albums -- Dim the Lights, Chill the Ham is an equally appealing collection of post-indie surf revival; the band's true asset is that they really seem to be more than just a surf band, and there's a sense of rock and variety in Dim the Lights that should appeal well beyond the boundaries of the genre. [Nitsuh Abebed/AMG]

Borrowing as much from UK pre-Beatles instrumental legends the Shadows as the reverb-drenched American surfmeisters of the '60s, Toronto's Shadowy Men are a tough act to duct-tape to the chair. These '90s guys keep squirming loose to add unexpected elements to their brew. Benny Goodman's "Swing, Swing, Swing" pops up in "I Know a Guy Named Larry." And "Bang Bang," the Sonny Bono tune, tellingly combines gypsy swagger and 007 intrigue with a rockabilly bridge. Like San Francisco's Mermen, this is kinda surf and kinda not. When the Shadowy Men play Brian Wilson's "In My Room," you can bet they've got a pail of water balanced over the door, just waiting for some sap to walk in. [Jud Cost/]

1 Dim the Lights, Chill the Ham
2 Reid's Situation
3 I Know a Guy Named Larry
4 Exit from Vince Lombardi High School
5 Aunts Invasion
6 Running Meredith
7 Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)
8 Hot Box Car
9 In My Room
10 Dewy Drops of Spring
11 5 American 6 Canadian
12 Who Painted Whistler's Mother
13 Case of the Missing Ladyfingers
14 Jackpot
15 D. Tour
16 Hunter S. Thompson's Younger Brother
17 Misogomy & The Object
18 Ben Hur Picked Off in a Gazebo
19 Who's Afraid of Alyson Hymer/Wow Flutter Hiss
20 You Spin Me Round '86
21 Babakganoosh
22 Siesta Cinema
23 Dim the Lights, Chill the Ham Reprise