Shannon & The Clams is a garage punk group based in Oakland, California, and was formed in 2009. Based on the group’s Wikipedia page, it seems the band draws from a broad range of influences from decades in the past, ranging from 1950s and early 1960s styles like doo-wop, rockabilly, r&b, and surf rock, to the psychedelic garage rock from the mid-to-late 1960s, and then to the sounds of punk rock from the early 1980s. The group has released a total of five studio albums thus far, and it appears that a sixth album will be released in August of 2021. This album, Gone by the Dawn (2015), is the group’s fourth studio album, and the album’s Bandcamp listing has the tags of soul, pop, doo-wop, Roy Orbison, and Oakland. I’m pretty stoked to give this album a listen, so with that said, I’m going to jump on into the music.
“I Will Miss the Jasmine” gets started with some really interesting guitar work that reminds me a bit of Les Paul & Mary Ford, and is backed by a really sweet groove from the bass guitar and a beat that reminds me a lot of pop rock artists from the early 1960s like Dion. Oh wow, there are some interesting sound effects from a keyboard or possibly a synth that add in some sort of psychedelia to the soundscape. Super sweet track, and I’m excited to hear more.
“My Man” gets started with some really sweet guitar lines that seem to have a mid 1960s garage rock sound at first, which then seem to mellow out to a sort of pop rock sound from the early 1960s. I’m really digging the guitar work in this track so far. The vocals have a really interesting timbre that seems to introduce a gritty garage rock feel that I’m really digging. Oh wow, the track seems to break through to an all around grittier movement that feels like a sort of more intense version of early 1960s pop rock. I really dig the chorus vocal shouts in this track while the guitar seems to meander along. Great tune.
“Point of Being Right” starts out with a sort of bopping bass line with a big backbeat that reminds me a bit of Pokey LaFarge’s particular style. Oh wow, I really dig the doo-wop background vocals in this track. Were it not for the subtle fusion of grittier flavors with the sort of older late 1950s and 1960s genres in this album thus far, I wouldn’t have guessed that the album was released in 2015. Oh wow, I really dig the distorted guitar line that adds a bit of grittiness to the sweet soundscape. Great tune.
“How Long” starts out with a really sweet whistling sound alongside a really groovy combination of drums and guitar that remind me of Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks”. I really dig the psychedelic reverberation sounds and other spacey effects in this track that gradually take the tune into far out territory. Oh wow, I really dig the background vocals in this track. Oh wow, the track seems to change up to a more intense style for a moment before resolving back to the sweet intro movement. Super sweet tune.
“Baby Blue” gets started with an almost marching feel from the guitar and percussion before the tune seems to drop into place with an early 1960s pop rock sound that feels vaguely inflected by a jangly garage rock/pop from the mid 1960s. Oh wow, the feel of the track seems to take on a more modern alternative rock/pop sound for a moment, and then introduces some spacey synth effects before resolving back to the main movement of the track for the outro. Super sweet track.
“It’s Too Late” gets started with a really groovy, rockin’ beat that has a sort of garage rock feel that almost reminds me of the psychobilly/garage punk style from groups from the early 1980s like The Cramps. Oh wow, I really dig the spacey synth effects that come in near the end of the tune. Super sweet track.
Oh wow, “Gone by the Dawn” mellows things back down with a sound that reminds me a ton of Les Paul & Mary Ford. I really dig the spacey synth effects in the background. Oh wow, the snare has a really massive, yet distant sound that I really dig as well. Oh wow, the vocals almost seem to become a bit ominous after a moment, and the tune almost reminds me of the darker psychedelic style of Los Angeles-based rock groups from the mid-to-late 1960s. Oh wow, the tune seems to come to a really sweet crescendo near the end before resolving in an almost ominous manner. Great track.
“Corvette” starts out with some mysterious, spacious garage rock guitar chords, which soon give way to a really interesting movement of vocals, guitar, bass, and drums, which seem to have a sort of dark, pseudo psychedelic surf rock sound that I’m really digging. The structure of the song reminds me a ton of sort of modern pop rock songs mixed with a sort of modern psychedelic garage rock sound that reminds me a bit of Frankie and the Witch Fingers. I really dig the droning quality of the vocals in the outro of this track as things seem to gradually resolve back to the mysterious sound from the intro. Great tune.
“Telling Myself” begins with a sort of upbeat, pop-like nature that reminds me a lot of Les Paul & Mary Ford with the guitar work and Dion with rhythm section, while the vocals have a sort of raspiness that seems to give the soundscape a tinge of garage rock from the mid 1960s. Oh wow, the track moves to a sort of pop rock movement for the chorus that reminds me a bit of The Beatles circa 1964 with the structure of the vocals and guitars. Oh wow, the track moves onto a guitar solo for a moment that almost seems like a garage rock guitarist from the mid-to-late 1960s tried to play like Les Paul and/or Mary Ford for a moment. Wow, great track.
“The Bog” gets started with a really interesting medley of guitars, drums, and bass that almost sound like some sort of punk rock version of the Tetris theme song. I really dig the speedy feel from the drums and bass, which seem to gradually introduce more and more tension to the soundscape. I’m kind of reminded of some darker psychedelic rock acts from the mid-to-late 1960s such as Kaleidoscope or even Eric Burdon & The Animals. Great tune.
“Knock ’em Dead” gets grooving with a really gritty, punk rock beat that is soon joined by some distorted punk rock guitar work that I’m really digging. Holy smokes, there’s a guitar that gets into a chaotic punk rock solo filled with feedback and different effects that I’m really digging. Great track.
“The Burl” gets into a really interesting groove with the guitars and drums that almost feels like an expansion of the sort of Tetris-style from a couple of tracks ago. I really dig the way the background vocals sound in this track, which almost sound like a children’s church chorus singing a punk song of some sort. Super sweet tune.
“You Let Me Rust” gets started with some garage rock guitar playing a pop-y line, and is soon joined by some spacey synth effects. Oh wow, I really dig the psychedelic style of this track, which seems to be bringing the album to a close with an almost ominous feel. Oh wow, I really dig the way the track crescendos with the synth effect at the end of the song. Great tune and a great way to finish off the listening experience.
Wow, I’m really glad that I checked out this album tonight. The medley of genres was really interesting throughout, as the guitar playing reminded me of Les Paul & Mary Ford many times during the listening experience, while still having a bit of a mid 1960s garage rock tinge. It was like the group took pop/rock from the 1950s, 1960s, and the 2000s and 2010s, and steeped those sounds in garage rock and punk rock for a bit. If you’re into 1950s and early 1960s pop/rock and want to hear a modern interpretation of those sounds mixed with some garage rock flavors, then you might want to consider checking out this album. If you do decide to give this album a listen, then I sincerely do hope that you enjoy the listening experience at least as much as I did.