Young the Giant
Shake My Hand


4.0
excellent

Review

by Caleb McAlpine USER (109 Reviews)
December 15th, 2009 | 21 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Despite suffering from mild schizophrenia and a lack of true identity, Shake My Hand is a charming introduction to a band with tremendous ambition and the talent to back it up.

It’s always an interesting affair when the control of the car stereo is in the hands of somebody other than yourself. I cannot count how many family road trips have been ruined by my father insisting on listening to ‘Life Is a Highway’ on repeat, nor can I properly express the silent agony I suffer in the passenger seat when a friend of mine turns on ‘Party in the USA’. Yet on a recent coastal Californian road trip north with some friends, hidden amongst less-than-favorable tunes and playlists was the song ‘Cough Syrup’ by The Jakes. The song is essentially just an extremely well-written and buoyant Coldplay/The Killers hybrid tune with a sprinkle of pop punk thrown into the mix - only even catchier. Taken by surprise, I listened closely in the backseat as vocalist Sameer Gadhia skillfully flaunted his Adam Levine impression amongst a wave of hooks, lyricism and a pair of oh-so-tasteful indie rock guitar lines. As the last slick notes of ‘Cough Syrup’ panned out in the vehicle, I thanked the gods of good music for giving me a breath of fresh aural air and reminded myself to investigate The Jakes further.

That was, as you may have guessed, an excellent decision.

Shake My Hand is The Jakes’ only release at this point in time (their Roadrunner full length debut is due sometime in the following year), and the tidy collection of songs leaves an incredibly good, if perhaps impermanent, impression. As noted, The Jakes’ sound isn’t really the most original in the lot - at times, their eclectic instrumentation and grooves recall the confident experimentalism of As Tall As Lions, while at other times, the band may as well just be covering bands like Mute Math or The Last Goodnight. However, amidst all their unpaid royalties to bigger bands in the scene, it’s wholly commendable to recognize how the band managed to not plagiarize themselves at all on Shake My Hand. All seven songs on the EP have a complete individuality of their own; the band undoubtedly understands the concept of variation. The smarmy shuffle of the commanding ‘Paid the Piper’ and the careful climaxes of ‘Garands at Normandie’ are prime examples of the band’s catchier, exciting numbers while the relaxed ‘Take Me Home’ feels right at home in the track list, despite sounding eerily familiar to industry giant Jack Johnson. The fast paced gallop of the very Maroon 5-esque ‘Schizophrenia’ juxtaposes quirkily with the classic-indie vibe of its partner song ‘Shake My Hand’ (a tune complete with an extended guitar and handclap outro) while closer ‘Texas Tea’ appropriately concludes the EP in a fittingly grand and slightly motivational manner - layered wordless vocals, strings, drawn out ending and all.

The only thing that makes Shake My Hand disappointing is The Jakes’ complete lack of identity - if all the name-dropping didn’t give you a clue, I’ll make it clear: The Jakes aren’t very original. Although they refrain from doing the same thing twice on Shake My Hand, they employ the highest form of flattery far too often, dampening the impact of their brilliant pop hooks ever so slightly. Yet despite their accidental (or perhaps purposeful?) mimicry, Shake My Hand is a very impressive and varied EP from a band brimming with potential. You’ll want to keep an eye on the band now, just so you can say “I knew these guys before they were popular” next year.



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user ratings (23)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
qwe3
December 16th 2009


21362 Comments


will get this good review etc.

Waior
December 16th 2009


11451 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Qwe proofed for me. Preemptive strikes: Nagrarok, yes, it's coming. And umm... Brandon, Great Lake Swimmers will happen soon. I'm just super busy lately.

This is poppy fun.

Nagrarok
December 16th 2009


8247 Comments


Haha, I wasn't even going to mention that. Yet. Your reviews never dissapoint. Pos.

Ponton
Emeritus
December 16th 2009


5793 Comments


Nice review, Caleb. I will check this out.

PuddlesPuddles
December 16th 2009


4772 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Whooooooooooop

This is going to be my "fun" album, sorry 'fun.'

JacobsLadder
December 16th 2009


554 Comments


Didn't this come out this year?

Nagrarok
December 16th 2009


8247 Comments


Anywhere I can find this on the internet?

klap
Staff Reviewer
December 16th 2009


10433 Comments


gracias caleb

Digging: Tennis - Ritual In Repeat

Waior
December 16th 2009


11451 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

It's not difficult to find online at all but contact me outside of Sputnik if you need help.

This is going to be my "fun" album, sorry 'fun.'


Good move. Jacobs, this could've come out this year but the information I found online said otherwise. It was hard to find information on them :/

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
December 16th 2009


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yes, you have me interested.

Great review Caleb... EXCEPT for one thing! This may not be a popular opinion because I'm sure it gets a laugh out of a few people... BUT I really wish you'd ditch the hate on other (unrelated) bands in your reviews. Comparisons (The Killers, Coldplay, etc...) are fine, but there's really no need to even mention TAI or RJA here. It might be fine for a one-off (see Def Lep mention in Jet review), but I'm sensing a pattern. I understand you were telling a story here (& it was relevant enough), but those put-downs were just a little too much of a (to borrow a Mick Foley line) "cheap pop" for mine.

By no means did it ruin the review btw... Me likey overall.

PuddlesPuddles
December 16th 2009


4772 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Did you know that they only recruit people birthed with the name Jake?

This led all the rejects that weren't good enough to be in The Jakes to start a band of their own, called Less Than Jake.






Not true at all, but imagine? Spread that rumor

Waior
December 16th 2009


11451 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I really wish you'd ditch the hate on other (unrelated) bands in your reviews.


I'm not positive that I do this as frequently as you may think... but nonetheless, that is taken out of the review; I understand why it's tacky. Thank you! Let me know what you think.

This led all the rejects that weren't good enough to be in The Jakes to start a band of their own, called Less Than Jake.


That's a very well developed dad-joke. I love it.

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
December 16th 2009


15036 Comments


the shakes - jake my hand


anyone else just like make this weird connection

tombits
December 16th 2009


3470 Comments


Great Lake Swimmers still hasn't been reviewed?

...Interesting, haha.

I like this one Waior, nice and concise. Will check this out.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
December 16th 2009


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"I'm not positive that I do this as frequently as you may think... but nonetheless, that is taken out of the review; I understand why it's tacky. Thank you! Let me know what you think."

True Caleb. Maybe I'm just butt-hurt that you keep picking on bands that I like. Haha. Nah, serviously... It reads much better the way you have edited it. The point still comes across & is more streamlined, yet a reader's concentration is not averted by naming those other bands.

Waior
December 17th 2009


11451 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks, Valamir.

To all of you saying "I will check this out", actually do this time. I never do, I know. Humor me!

PuddlesPuddles
January 31st 2010


4772 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So we remain to be the only 2 Jake listeners. Huh.

Waior
January 31st 2010


11451 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Damn it!

Ire
May 7th 2010


41780 Comments


Young the Giant.

Waior
October 28th 2010


11451 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

young the gianttttt



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