Record Review: Shake 10″ EP

Sire | UK | 10″ | 1979 | SIR 4016

Shake: Shake UK 10″ [1979]

  1. Culture Shock
  2. Glass House
  3. Dream On
  4. [But] Not Mine

About 18 months ago, I detailed a brace of Rezillos side projects that I still needed to get into the Record Cell. It wasn’t too much later when I finally came across the right copy of this record to buy*, and moving forward, I finally listened to the actual record and herein lies my tale.

* Hint – it didn’t involve overseas postage

Inside the wonderful Batman-title-card pastiche sleeve design, one finds the EP leading off with a track that will be familiar to Rezillos fans.

Sire Records | UK | LP | 1979 | SRK 6069

This posthumous Rezillos live album, issued in the Spring of 1979, first featured Jo Callis’ zippy track “Culture Shock” in a live version that never made it to the studio until after the band fissured. Eugene Reynolds and Fay Five moved to form the even ginchier Revillos and the remaining Angel Paterson, Jo Callis, and Simon Templar spun off into Shake, with the addition of Troy Tate on vocals. I miss Fay but Tate isn’t a million miles away from Reynolds gruff vocals and the song is a killer sweet tune no matter how you slice it. The lyrics are very witty and I’ve never herd a song express these sentiments before. The band tear it up just like they did on the live version – con gusto. You’re left with pop-punk perfection, as ever, from the talented pen of Callis. As I mentioned last year, this EP had a 7″ of “Culture Shock” released from it as a 45 [!] and I’d still like to have one of those on the racks. Just because.

“Glass House” is another high energy number that was A-side material with some more good lyrics from the dependable Callis. Templar’s bass in right in your face as fans of The Rezillos, will be glad to hear. Troy Tate’s vocals here remind me a lot of Paul Weller’s; not shocking considering the way that The Jam were dominating the UK consciousness at this time. “Dream On” is more pop-punk with a neat Morse code guitar hook from Callis counterpointing the song’s propulsive energy.

“[But] Not Mine” is a high energy wrapup for this EP that opens with another classic Templar bassline. You can almost sing “Ballroom Blitz” to the intro! This 3:49 track fades out but the listener is left with an instro coda that functions as a hidden bonus track and takes the track timing out to a full 5:00! It’s an unnamed surf/spy workout that someone in earshot just kindly informed me that recalls the animated X-Men TV series theme from the 90s! This would no doubt gladden Jo Callis’ pop culture loving heart, if not his wallet. So Jo Callis certainly managed to make some good records without his vocal cohorts from The Rezillos. I’ll get to more rundowns on the Shake/S.H.A.K.E./Jo Callis solo singles for another day. But this little 10″ gem should be in your sights if you have any love for The Rezillos. And if you don’t have any love for the Rezillos… I feel sorry for you, pally.

– 30 –

About postpunkmonk

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2 Responses to Record Review: Shake 10″ EP

  1. Echorich says:

    I’ve heard Culture Shock and Glass House before. Fun stuff really. I’m a Troy Tate fan, think he should have gone on to bigger things after his daliance with Julian Cope. I need to find the Troy Tate produced first Smiths album – only ever heard the two tracks released.
    Back to Shake… I love their enegy and ability to sound fresh with a sound that was already getting dated fast. There’s a similar feel in the first few Stiff Little Fingers singles from the same period. I still have a hard time putting the Jo Callis of Rezillos/Shake with the same Jo Callis who would guide Human League’s Dare a few years later.

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  2. postpunkmonk says:

    Echorich – “Glass House” makes me recall The Jam, but I can certainly hear the SLF of which you speak! As for Jo Callis and The League, I recall being amazed that there had been a Human League/Rezillos crossover, but it worked, didn’t it? Like a fiend. Hats off to Bob Last!

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