Shaking Judy: A Band You Should Know About
Some bands wait for opportunity to fall into their laps; others make things happen. Cue Shaking Judy. The Montreal band has been evolving steadily over the past six years, allowing their musical influences—which range from blues, to rock, to metal—to help them hone their craft. The band released its first EP, Songs for Apollo, in 2006, followed by a VideoFact grant to shoot a video for the song On the Run, which aired nationally on MuchMusic and helped solidify a devoted fan base. They have toured Quebec, Ontario, and parts of Australia. In addition, the band has devoted time to performing at charity events, including War Child Canada, Canadian Red Cross, and the Canadian Cancer Society.
Shaking Judy has been diligently recording demos in various home studios and jam spaces across the island of Montreal, and will release the 7-song Demos Volume 2 on July 16 (the demos were self-recorded for a grand total of $0). They are preparing for their first full-length album, which will be recorded this summer. It will consist of professional recordings of seven of the best songs from their demos—as determined by an online vote by fans—plus three previously unreleased tracks. Expect the album to be released in late 2011, followed by a series of shows in Montreal and a spring tour of Quebec and Ontario. The band will also be shopping the CD to record labels.
I had the opportunity to preview Demos Volume 2 this week; from the first notes played, the message is clear: go big or go home. The band launches into track, Gamma Knife Fight, and it doesn’t take long to realize that they have grown musically.
The album maintains its original speed and energy until the slower pace of Looking for Ghosts shifts gears, eliciting a different mood from the listener.
I was caught off guard with Royal Mountain; while the multi-part harmonies differ from anything else on the album, it was an unexpected musical treat.
The album ends with Vestigial Limb, a short, slower track that leaves the listener wanting more.
Without giving everything away, tracks Gamma Knife Fight, Royal Mountain, and Vestigial Limb were among my favorites; however, they are among the shortest tracks on the album. While it felt like a tease, these shorter songs managed to give us a glimpse at what this band is capable of.
Overall, Demos Volume 2 is a good listen, and a solid offering from Shaking Judy. We get brief glimpses of their musical influences—Tricky Woo, Priestess, The Illuminati, Danko Jones, and Bionic—although they have succeeded at creating their own sound.
If you’re in Montreal, you might want to check out their Demo Release Party on July 16, where you can see Shaking Judy live and pick up a copy of the album. Details can be found on their MySpace page.
Full tracklisting for Demos Volume 2:
1. Gamma Knife FIght
2. Mark My Words
3. Snakes and Ladders
4. Looking for Ghosts
5. Royal Mountain
6. Under City Lights
7. Vestigial Limb
Images courtesy of Joanne Fortier Photography.