I first came across Manchester’s Shaking Chains when I heard their last single ‘Midnight Oil’. ‘Into Dust’ is their second. Where ‘Midnight Oil’ was all sort of mutant rockabilly with hints of Nick Cave, ‘Into Dust’ almost sounds like one of these epic New Romantic ballads albeit with a rockabilly twist.
What I like about this track, and actually these previous single, is the sparseness, it’s an object lesson in less is more. Jack Mahoney’s voice booms, the guitars crackles, the drums pound.
Quite what this track is about I have no idea, I really don’t care, I’ve just revelling in the performance. For what it’s worth Jack says the track is about
“Human history is littered with occasional bouts of enlightenment.
Brief pauses in the slaughterhouse production line.
Fag breaks in the fabric of time.
Optimists believe the pendulum will swing back from the abyss any century now, although, lesser mortals could be forgiven, for thinking that we won’t make it past the next turn of the wheel…
Twisted desire to return to an imagined past?
Misplaced sense of self-importance?
Inclination to blame scapegoats instead of facing reality?
And so it continues. An endless stream of stupefied heads, trickling down the steps of Ponzi scheme pyramids – clogging up the hourglass.
Still, during moments of reprieve, it is important to remember – that when Rome burned and the lynch mob brayed – Nero picked up his fiddle and played.”
Does that really help, I’m no more enlightened to be honest, even after listening to the track quite a lot. But sometimes you don’t need to know what a song is about to enjoy it, the performance is enough. This is a performance that is more than enough to hold your interest.
The track is available now from all digital platforms.
Manchester Band Shaking Chains borrow their name from ‘The Masque of Anarchy’, a poem written when Shelley was in exile, to portray his disgust with the Peterloo Massacre and the encroaching parochialism of the England in which he fled (‘Shake your chains to earth like dew, which in sleep had fallen on you. Ye are many – they are few’). More Chartists than chart hits, they are a four piece produced in The North long after production halted, currently treading water under the dark streets of London (having played music together, in one form or another, since they were at school).
Shaking Chains are Jack Mahoney (Lead Vocals/Guitar), Nathan Mcilroy (Bass/Vocals), Alex Solo (Guitar/Vocals) & Jack Hardiker (Drums/Vocals). The single was produced and mixed by Oli Barton-Wood and recorded at The Gizzard Analogue Recording Studios in Bow, East London.
The band play The White Hotel Salford on 29th September and Night & Day Cafe’s Birthday Pary Part One on 24th November
This review is one of our ‘There’s A World Out There’ features in which we will choose things to review – albums, singles, gigs – that we like and feel are worth a listen – but are not made or played in Yorkshire. It’s as simple as that.