Reading the Rattleshake biography, I was surprised by a statement about the band not hitting the big time: ‘Rattleshake remain refreshingly candid in that department, acknowledging that nothing really came close to panning out.‘ Honesty, and maybe a touch of humility. I’m shocked.

Rattleshake Band Photo
Above, Rattleshake: a portrait of the hair era.

Rattleshake was a San Fransisco Bay Area band with their eyes on the hair metal prize, as were so many others. (Our friends at Eonian Records are doing a good job of finding some of them.) This album offers what remains of their recording sessions, seven tunes of straight Eighties melodic hard rock. Expect to hear the same elements, and echoes of other bands, that drove much of that classic sound and that hairy period.

Typical of this Crue/Poison/Warrant rock are Shootin’ Whiskey, Gypsy Queen, Jump On Me, and Rattleshake Boogie, with the first and last songs being favorites, Jump On Me a close second. There’s a derivitive, and rather mundane, ballad in Never Say Goodbye, the weakest link. Where Rattleshake mixed in some latent blues, as on Mudbone Delight, they excelled. It’s the best track.

Yet, taken as a whole, then expecting the ballad, this is fine material, and shows a band on to a sound to call their own. Would they have made it big, especially with grunge about to overtake the industry? Perhaps not as their were a shitload of bands like them. But we have the benefit of the lens of 20 years of history now passed. Enjoy Rattleshake, and fine representative of that history.

01. Shootin’ Whiskey
02. Gypsy Queen
03. Take Me Down
04. Mudbone Delight
05. Jump On Me
06. Never Say Goodbye
07. Rattleshake Boogie

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Rattleshake – Rattleshake 2012

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