Shannon and the Clams – Gone by the Dawn

Album Review by Duncan Harman | 04 Sep 2015
  • Shannon and the Clams – Gone by the Dawn
Album title: Gone by the Dawn
Artist: Shannon and the Clams
Label: Hardly Art
Release date: 11 Sep

If breaking up is so very hard to do, then Gone by the Dawn finds early garage rock revivalists Shannon and the Clams gathered around the jukebox, drowning their sorrows with every item on the cocktail menu. And because it’s still 1962 somewhere, there’s plenty of doo-wop references, Telstar keys and Cramps-style rockola amidst the upfront emotion, Shannon Shaw’s barfly vocals (on stand-outs Corvette and Point of Being Right) summoning weary, amore-soaked evocation.

The problem of course is that the ’62 aesthetic only takes us so far, and while this is a record loaded with quirky touches, co-vocalist Cody Blanchard a manic counterpoint to Shaw’s louche presence, much of the musical dressing -up suggests that we’ve been here before, slipping precariously close to cabaret territory. Live, the band are a blast of vibrancy and humour; on disc – and despite the candour – it all feels a little predictable, a little niche; time called on cocktail hour.