Words by Lady Godiva
Intriguing band names are few and far between but Brits do it better. If you haven’t heard of The Shadracks, make sure to right that wrong. Shadrack is a name of Babylonian origin which literally means Command of Aku, the Moon God. Shadrack was one of the three Hebrew captives who were thrown into a fiery furnace and came out unharmed. Punk as hell! What a perfectly fitting name for a band that wears its primitive influences like a crown and doesn’t beat about the bush.
This three-piece has electrifying chemistry and potent vocals delivered by their charismatic frontman and guitarist Huddie Shadrack. His voice may remind you of the prolific artist Billy Childish, his father, who also produced their latest record From Human Like Forms. At times, his versatile vocal range also has some Eddie Argos (Art Brut) quirks. The rhythm section is equally skilled with drummer extraordinaire Elisa Abednego and imperial bass player Rhys Webb, better known as a member of The Horrors.
Hailing from Kent, The Shadracks craft razor sharp anthems that take a dry look at human relationships, following in the footsteps of the Birmingham 80s outfit The Au Pairs. Is there anything more recurrent in rock ‘n’ roll music than desiring something or someone you can’t have? This is the cornerstone of the band’s material, epitomized in their song ‘You Can’t Lose’. “It’s about wanting something you can’t get, chasing the unobtainable and finding yourself at the mercy of your pursuits.”
Filled to the brim with raw energy, effortless poise and timeless style, From Human Like Forms keeps you like a cat on a hot tin roof throughout its fourteen moodscapes. Huddie fully uses his vocals as an instrument to complement his acute and unapologetic stream of consciousness lyrics. The backing vocals give off a more candid aura that resonates with the listener. Unabashedly forthright, fierce songs can be followed by more mellow and sentimental ones such as You Like It Then, without sounding incongruous.
At their most ominous atmospherically, The Shadracks may also sound reminiscent of The Fall circa ‘This Nation’s Saving Grace’ as on the foggy and eerie ‘Delicate Touch’, one of the pinnacles on this record. They are able to conjure up the frosty ambiance of 80s Britain whilst cleverly owning their sound.
In a time when music takes itself too seriously and in an ocean of soundalike groups, what is more life affirming than a band that takes us back to the core values and essence of raw and brazen rock ‘n’ roll?
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