Genres:Pop Rock, Alternative Pop, Rock - Pop Rock, Rock - Alternative Pop
Recalling an era when jangly guitars and rich vocal harmonies fueled melodic pop songs, the band's influences are such luminaries as the La’s, Hoodoo Gurus, the Kinks, the Beatles, You Am I, Stone Roses, Big Star, the Hummingbirds, the Small Faces and Teenage Fanclub.
The band was started in early 2006 by Australian songwriter/guitarist James Hall, after the breakup of his former band, the Jeunes. The Jeunes had generated some buzz in the Seattle scene in 2004 with local airplay and label interest, famously making a fan of London DJ/musician Jyoti Mishra, aka White Town (who had a worldwide #1 hit with Your Woman in 1997) after he randomly downloaded their EP from an internet newsgroup.
Reviewing the same EP, ThreeImaginaryGirls.com said:
"The music is hook-laden, lush and timeless. After a few listens, you will be utterly smitten with this band."
Unfortunately the Jeunes disbanded in the fall of 2005, "to the dismay of fans… especially because so many of the Jeunes’ great songs had never been recorded and were therefore lost forever." - KEXP blog
Aware of this, Hall retreated to his home studio and set about making an album throughout 2006, playing all the instruments himself, with the intention of recording definitive versions of songs he'd written for the Jeunes. Along the way, some new songs were written and the project took on a life of its own. Hall chose the name Shake Some Action!, inspired by the quintessential power-pop song of the same name by the Flamin' Groovies.
While the recording of the album was mostly a solo affair (apart from some lead guitar work by David Bos "flown in" from demos recorded a year earlier by the Jeunes), to support the release of the record, Hall put together a stellar live band including David Bos (Daylight Basement, the Jeunes) on guitar, Gary Miller (the Scheme) on bass and Chris Campbell (the Scheme, Zero Points) on drums.
The self-titled debut album was released on January 16 2007, to glowing reviews and heavy local airplay. The Daily Breeze's Sam Gnurre perhaps summed up the feeling best: "The year has just begun, and already the first knockout by an unknown band from out of left field has arrived."
Their live performances also generated some buzz in Seattle, with KEXP Music Director Don Yates commenting: "They rocked up their sound a bit more than their excellent new debut album, and their harmonies sounded great live... it shouldn’t be long before these guys start getting a lot of well-deserved attention", while All Music Guide's Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote of their Bumbershoot 2007 performance: "Armed with two Rickenbacker guitars and endless harmonies, the group is a bunch of unabashed pop classicists, bringing to mind not just '70s power-pop but the heyday of jangle-pop in the '80s, from the REM ringing of the guitars to the Robyn Hitchcock edge delivery from singer/songwriter James Hall. "
Amidst these plaudits in September 2007 came Live at the Crocodile, a complete recording of their third show at Seattle's legendary Crocodile Cafe which showcased the band's stellar live sound and gave further weight to those glowing live reviews.
2007 also saw the band license "What You Want Me To Do" to Nike for use in their "Watch Us Play" promotion, while "Damaged" appeared in the award winning independent movie Boxboarders.
In November 2007 they began work on Sunny Days Ahead, scheduled for release on Satellite 451 Records on June 17, 2008. Basic tracks for 20 songs were recorded in one weekend at Rob Sharp's Playroom Studio in Seattle - some captured in just one take, like the record's closer Who Do You Love? The result is a record that captures all the energy of a live performance, yet the classic pop sensibility and attention to songcraft remains.