Review Summary: "How about a vacation trip to Washington state this year, sound like fun? Well, here's a platter of fun-like sounds to help make your holiday begin on a happy note!"
Shook Ones - Facetious Folly Feat
Not to be confused with the Mobb Deep song of the same name, this Bellingham(/Seattle) band follows melodic hardcore by the book so closely that it feels almost redundant to criticize them for it. Formed out of a common love for the precursors of the genre, Shook Ones are a band that carry their influences on their sleeve and hearts that radiates constantly on nearly every track that they’ve put out. Their debut album Sixteen
, made just a year after their official formation, had all the spunk of a punk rock band, catchy enough but retaining a very messy and raw edge, and a vocalist who still had a bit of ironing out to do before becoming anything quality. Their sophomore album, Facetious Folly Feat
, essentially sees Shook Ones taking a sander to their sound and smoothing out all the sharper imperfections to become the blunt shot of melodic hardcore that they strive to be. All the correct elements of a successful album are present on Facetious Folly Feat
: an improvement on all fronts. The instrumental section begins to emphasize melody and catchiness without sacrificing much of the speed and ferocity of hardcore, and a great performance in the vocal department beings to see Shook Ones come more into themselves and not simply just a Kid Dynamite tribute band (although the similarities are blatant and apparent).
Facetious Folly Feat
doesn’t overstay its welcome either. While eleven tracks may seem a tad long-winded for most modern hardcore acts, Shook Ones keep the traditional song length alive with most tracks under two minutes, which helps cut away any of the excess fat that plagues so many bands hoping to marry melody and aggression in hardcore. Tracks like “Pheasant” and “SMRT” keep the tempo alive and active, with equal part pop-punk, and manage to do drive it home under a self-imposed limited timeframe. Facetious Folly Feat
proves that innovation in the genre is not the sole factor in determining the success in a band. Very little new ground, if any, is made with Shook Ones, both with this album or their career for that matter. But while every Lifetime worshipping band hopes to make it big someone in the ironically pop-punk friendly market of today, Shook Ones reject this notion and play music that feels right to here and genuine to listen to.