SHANTIH SHANTIH check in with two primitive-sounding, 60’s-influenced garage sides on their recent single Ruby. They’re a four-piece band from Atlanta, GA that features the songwriting prowess of Anna Barattin. Some readers might remember Miss Barattin as a former member of the Vermillion Sands (who recorded for both the esteemed Trouble in Mind and Fat Possum labels).
Brought to you by the Shit Music For Shit People label, the A-side “Ruby” features Barattin’s sweet vocals while the instrumentation recalls the sounds of countless garage bands from the last half-century or so with a stress on simplicity. The vibrato effected guitars strum familiar sounding chords, while the drums keep a steady, spare utilitarian beat. There are some nice rudimentary attempts at channeling the spirit of Ennio Morricone with some of the guitar playing as well, which adds some nice dramatic flourishes to the proceedings. In addition, “Ruby” boasts some lovely three part vocal harmonies that back up Barattin’s main vocals. I can almost visualize the practice space in which this was likely recorded in and smell the sweet mildew scent wafting from the vintage amplifiers.
B-side “Something Else to Drink” stays in the same territory as “Ruby” but with more of a Nancy Sinatra you go-go girl vibe, as opposed to the A-side’s more garage and light psychedelic tendencies. A nice track with a strong hook and perhaps just missing a little of the counterpoint that something like Lee Hazelwood’s deep baritone and general quirkiness brought to so many of Nancy’s best. While it’s a given that the whole 1960’s garage rock thing has just about been done to death and I’ll admit it’s hard to find too much here that hasn’t been done before. With that being said, there is definitely a lot of raw enthusiasm and energy displayed on these two sides. So much so that it makes me not mind another trip back to the garage.
Genre/ Tags: Pop, Garage Rock, 60s
Ruby 7″: Tracklist:
2.) Something Else to Drink