Shanda & The Howlers “Trouble”
Now we always love the releases from Rumbar Records as it normally means some dirty rock n roll. We were actually a little surprised to hear that this release from Shanda & The Howlers was more of a 50/60s R’n’B act and soul sound. But that doesn’t matter, given that we love Rumbar records AND old school soul, it should be a great combination.
In fact, when there are retro R’n’B flavoured songs like “Keep Telling Me” it is as pure and instantly satisfying as anything a rock band could produce. The record actually hits an early high with the simply sumptuous “She Don’t Want A Man”, a song which is like a classic Motown or Northern Soul track. Along with “Stay Awake” and “Li’l Operator” these are the kind of songs you can’t resist shaking your ass to.
This type of big soul number are dependent on having a singer with a powerful voice. The relatively simple and slow paced “Trouble’s Out To Play” allows Shanda to really show that she has a fine set of pipes. It’s not just about vocal strength though, it’s the real soul and passion she delivers on songs like “Born With A Broken Heart. It allows a song like “You’re Gonna Cry” to be just full of emotion.
Whilst predominantly a soul sound, there is also a rock n roll flavour to it which can edge into a slight rockabilly feel. Certainly, fans of Imelda May who are disappointed with her move away from the genre will lap up the brilliant “Don’t Wait Up” and ” Mind Made Up”.
This might be different to other Rumbar Records releases but like most their other bands, we are damn sure that Shanda & The Howlers will be an absolute hoot live, given the raw feel of songs like “Bad Love”. They’ve managed to maintain their exceptionally high standards of delivering quality music. You shouldn’t be surprised that this is another release you need to buy and you should probably dig out your dancing shoes at the same time!