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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Thisisashakedown

Love Kills

Review by Gary Hill

Hailing from Ohio, Thisisashakedown is band that combines electronic house music, rock and techno to form a sound that’s not extremely unique, but is still quite cool. There’s not a ton of variety to be found here, but the music is good enough to mean that it doesn’t really matter. For my money the big highlight of the set is their dark and electronic cover of “My Funny Valentine”. It’s worth the price of admission all by itself.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Circles
Percussive techno elements start this thing. It works out from there gaining energy and a groove. The vocals come over the top with an almost emo feeling to them at times. This is a powerhouse number that's full on techno rocker. It really works incredibly well.
Love Kills
In some ways this isn’t all that different from the last track, but it’s harder edged and more tasty. It reminds me of a cross between Filter and Orgy.
You Make Me Wanna
Somehow this one reminds me a little of Alice Cooper. Don’t ask me why. Otherwise it’s along the lines of the album’s opener. Still, this track works better for some reason. The keyboard presence is a bit more prominent, too. 
Radio
There’s a more stripped down, percussion based musical texture to the verses on this, but the choruses are powered up and have a particularly tasty keyboard element to them. This one gets quite powerful and is even a bit proggy. It’s one of the highlights on the set. I love the tasty keyboard solo that ends it.
Beat
Somehow the intro on this reminds me of a techno version of Rush’s “New World Man”. It becomes a dark techno piece that’s more stripped down. 
Comeandcutmyheartout
Another that’s fairly moody, there is a definite house music texture to this track. It’s got plenty of NIN-like techno later, too, though.
Electric Sound
Here we get another slab of tasty techno music. This isn’t a big change, but it’s still a strong tune.
Can't Stop
More of a fast paced dance music meets techno sound pervades this cut. It’s got some almost screamed vocals bringing a bit of a punk texture at points. The chorus is especially catchy. There’s a break in the middle of this that has an almost disco rhythm section.
Oh!
We have another bit of electronic music here. It would be easy to say that the formula is wearing thin, but it wouldn’t be true. The fact is, while there’s not huge amounts of variety in each song, it still works quite well. 
My Funny Valentine
Now, this is incredibly cool! Imagine Depeche Mode and Bauhaus joining together for a cover of this old standard. What an intriguing track this is. I’d have to say this is the runaway highlight of the set.
Caving In
Hard edged and quite cool, this is a great way to end the set. It’s one of the more hard rocking numbers here and it’s just plain tasty. There are some exceptionally cool musical moods later in the track.
 
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