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ROGUE SOUND: “Save It For Later” by the Shaky Harlots

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The Shaky Harlots are the newest project helmed by local garage powerhouse-guitarist Laramie Ryan Crow, and mercurial rock singer Brynna Dean. They’ve made a name for themselves in the Rogue Valley over the past year as one of the premier live rock bands. After releasing a smattering of one-off singles and demos on the band’s Soundcloud and Bandcamp pages, they have finally made their first official release with the EP “Save It For Later.”

The EP kicks off with the raucous “Attitude,” combining Dean’s signature megaphone vocals with dirtied surf guitars and sheet-metal drums. Right off the bat it’s clear that this band is having a blast, inviting the audience to dance along to their slacker-anthems in similar fashion. “Attitude” makes particularly striking use of it’s lead guitar lines (courtesy of Casey Julian Minnick of Whoopee Cushion), coming in around the two-minute mark to drive the song’s double-time climactic final verse.

In typical in-your-face punk rock fashion, the EP wouldn’t be complete without the pseudo-political headbanger “LA’s On Fire”. After speaking with the band about the uncanny coincidence between the song’s release and the summer’s California wildfires, I learned that the band actually wrote and recorded the song before any of them began. The Shaky Harlots are a band who turn serendipity into art, and this song is no exception. This fact is exemplified perfectly in the EP’s liner notes. With a guest rhythm section comprised of producer/drummer Evan Kunze (Everett) and bassist Jerry Burke-Perez (Giantess, Whoopee Cushion), The Shaky Harlots have brought fresh energy into their recordings after their previous drummer and bassist moved from the area.

The first time I saw The Shaky Harlots was on Halloween of 2017 at Ashland’s IPub where they showcased the first single from this EP, “F**k You”. The song has been stuck in my head ever since. Rarely has an insult felt so endearing as in this track. “F**k You” could easily be another hostile, anti-everything punk song, yet manages to sidestep this impression in favor of a more joyous occasion. Imagine a group of close friends, playfully hurling drunken insults at one another over the din of a busy Saturday night barroom and you’ll understand my reaction to the track. Or you could just listen to it.

Overall, this is a strong first release from The Shaky Harlots. The only criticism I have (what would a review be without at least one?) is that I would like to see the band experiment with more varied instrumentation. I recognize that they are a garage rock band, and a certain style of arranging is baked-in, but I can’t help but imagine what the band could accomplish with some added textural elements, at least in their recordings (even the Stooges added some saxophone and organ on Fun House).

The Shaky Harlots and Patrimony
8 pm, Friday, February 8
The Haul, 121 SW H Street, Grants Pass

Download “Save It For Later.” from their bandcamp page: https://theshakyharlots.bandcamp.com/album/save-it-for-later

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