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Shat - Shat
 

Shat - Shat

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Condition: Used
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Rating: 2 stars **
Title:  Shat
Company: Van Dyke
Catalog: AW 14042
Year: 1977
Country/State: Miami, Florida
Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+
Comments: --

Yeah, I'll admit to a certain childish glee every time I say this band's name ... guess it simply reinforces my wife's contention that I have the mentality and intellect of a six year old. What does she expect ? I'm a vinylholic.

So first off, don't confuse this out with the Jeff Wood-led New Jersey based punk outfit. Based on the limited liner notes I can tell you that this mid-1970s Shat was apparently from Miami, Florida (at least that's where their album was recorded). The liner notes credited the performances to singers Billy Adams, Steve Adams, and Bir Dee Fox, along with guitarist Calvin Cobbs, drummer Billy Geertsma, keyboardist John Jackson, bass player Billy James, guitarist Steve Ross, and harmonica player Mad Cat Womick. I'm guessing they were a bar band that somewhere along the way recorded some demos that somehow came to the attention of the Album World associated Van Dyke label. As a tax scam imprint, Van Dyke management didn't really care that neither the band, nor the tapes were particularly good.  

Released in 1977' "Shat" was recorded at Miami's Studio Center Sound Recording, Inc. with Morris Houton producing. Featuring eight band-penned originals, the album had the distinction of lacking a single original thought or move. This was basically pedestrian bar rock with precious little going for it. I'm not even sure a boatload of cold Coronas would have made much of a difference.

- I'm guessing that brothers (?) Bill and Steve Adams shared the vocals on 'Open Up'. A slinky blues number, the song itself was actually pretty good with a nice lead guitar solo and a decent groove. The downside came in the form of the Adams voices. At least on the surface they sounded a bit like Dr. John, but their phrasing, harmonizing, and ability to sing in tune and key was somewhat lacking. For what it was worth the song did sport a killer lead guitar solo.   rating: ** stars
- Sounding like it was recorded over a long distance telephone line, 'Cookin Mama' was a standard slice of boogie rock ... if you've ever hung around a dive bar with live music you'll be familiar with this one. Professional, but hardly something you'd remember. rating: ** stars
- Showcasing Fox's ragged, waivery voice (I think a female's singing on the track), 'Last Again' was a standard blues number that simply didn't have a shred of originality going for it. rating: * star
- Compared to the rest of side one, 'Hot Diggity Dog' was actually okay. Yeah, the Adams vocals remained an acquired taste, but since the song didn't have a great deal going in the lyric department ('hot - woo' repeated time after time), you could focus your attention on the funky lead guitar pattern that kicked the song along. rating: ** stars
- 'Standing At the Crossroads' was mildly interesting for it's raw, pseudo-punkish feel. I doubt the band was striving for that sound, rather I'm guessing it had more to do with their limited musical abilities. Actually that was a bit harsh since the lead guitarist actually turned in a nice solo. Rest of the song ... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz rating: ** stars
- 'Back Up Again' was clearly intended to be funny, but unless you were into group's like Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, the track probably wasn't going to do anything for you. rating: ** stars
- Geez how to even begin to describe the goofy 'This Neck That Neck' - imagine 'Hocus Pocus' era Focus; add in underwater bubble sound effects and you'll be in the right aural neighborhood. rating: ** stars
- 'Waltzing & Waltzing' ... um, is there such a thing as a bad Black Oak Arkansas impersonation ?  Okay, the harmony vocals on this one were quite attractive, even if the rest of the song was horrible.  rating: ** stars

Well, it is a rare album. Note I said rare, not necessarily good.

"Shat" track listing:
(side 1)
1.) Open Up (Shat) - 3:44
2.) Cookin Mama (Shat) - 2:25
3.) Last Again (Shat) - 4:23
4.) Hot Diggity Dog (Shat) - 4:20

(side 2)
1.) Standing At the Crossroads (Shat) - 3:18
2.) Back Up Again (Shat) - 2:29
3.) This Neck That Neck (instrumental) (Shat) - 3:05
4.) Waltzing & Waltzing (Shat) - 4:27
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