The Heart Of Rock N' Roll Was Still Beaten, In Canton
:: Shattered Class - Forever Is A Long Time ::
There is nothing more American than doing it yourself. Let me introduce you to some real Americans, Shattered Class. I picked this up the same day I grabbed my beloved Lance 7", and for the exact same reason -- the cover. The band picture instantly sent a whiff of cheap, stale beer up my nose. This was obviously taken in one of their living rooms, and I love how the drummer is holding his sticks to denote that he is the drummer. The more I looked at the record and its credits, the more obvious it was that this group of solid Midwestern dudes had put this slab out all by themselves. The credits and song titles on the back are written like doodles of a made-up band in a high school kid's notebook. My favorite part is that it says this came out on Truck Face Records + Tapes, a T.R.I.M. Publication. I hail from the Midwest, and I can tell you just the kind of guys who would come up with something like that. Had I stayed there, I would probably be helping them fix their car this weekend. This platter was recorded on February 18th, 1986. Says so right on the label. I guess when you do it yourself, you can get that kind of accuracy. Somebody wrote "Canton" on the sleeve, in handwriting suspiciously similar to the printed handwriting, so I am going to go ahead and assume these fellas were from there. Now I know of something else there besides the Pro Football Hall Of Fame.
I was pretty sure from the looks of these dudes that they were going to be hard rock, or bar rock, somewhere between Blue Oyster Cult and .38 Special. The reality is that they are fairly poppy. I don't dig the A side much, but the B side, which I've posted here, is pure radio rock that to my ears borrows from both Van Morrison and Dire Straits. One thing that amazes me is how low the rhythm guitar is in the mix. Have you ever known a guitarist that would stand for that? At one point some rather haunting backing vocals come in, but they burst in so loudly that they are distracting. I like to imagine a video for the song where the band gets all startled by how loud they are. Shut up, the Tubes would have done it! The guitar solo is way more interesting stuff than I would expect from dudes who wear bandanas and vests. It bugs me how it ends very abruptly and awkwardly, but these guys really captured a nice pop rock sound, and I'd be proud to drink a half rack of Stroh's with them in their garage. Hell, that's pretty much how GBV started.
Ladies and gents, I give you Scott Dunkle on drums, Mitchell Lee Keen on guitar, Terry Rohr on guitar and vocals, with the bass stylings of Sherm Miller and backing vocals of Kelly Fulmer. Rock!