A review of the full length CD.
The Shank-O’s, Shank-O-Vision, Train Records, 2001.
The Shank-O’s are a band I discovered during my time booking shows at Kalamazoo’s infamous Jefferson Street. I was not familiar with them before they sent be a demo. I booked them and was rewarded with a copy of this CD. The show went great. They put on a great live show, very high energy and filled with Misfits covers. As is usually the case, I didn’t keep in touch with them.
As for the CD. 14 tracks, jewel case, black tray, full color eight page booklet, lyrics. Musically, they are a poppy punk band. Clear melodic vocals, lots of palm mutes and ska guitar, and even some horns. They don’t seem to take themselves too seriously whilst not making a joke out of it either. Lyrically, the songs tend to be humorous takes on life and love. The recording is very good and well produced.
The disc kicks off with one of my favorites, ‘Sucky Love Song’, about a girl who just wants to be friends. The album then goes into songs about pop radio, being different, image issues and back to heartache. ‘Sexy As F*ck’ (AKA Hidden Track) was very memorable live song, with a sing-a-long break down part, and I can’t help but think of that crowded basement with all those Kalamazoo kids every time I hear the studio version. Shank-O-Vision ends with perhaps the darkest track on the album, ‘Who Are They’. It’s not so heavy as to stand out from the rest of the songs, however, it’s a rather good song to rinse with after a relatively sweet tasting collection.
As far as I know, this is the only thing they ever released. I don’t know what happened to them. This CD might be a little hard to find now, but I think a few copies are still floating around the internet. This is a driving fast on a warm day with the windows down singing loud kinda disc from a crowded into a warm basement singing loud kinda band.