What It Is… And How to Get It
The History According to Shuggie (http://www.shuggie.com/bio.shtml and http://www.shuggie.com/history.shtml) paints the band as some sort of retro-rebel, bringing Fun back into music. “Even the most jaded scenester will be drawn into the party as the band throws down the electric boogie gauntlet, daring others to pass.” Now, maybe I’m decorated in too much green stone to realize that I’m too hip to have fun, but I’m not exactly sure that Shuggie is quite the life-saving band it thinks it is. I don’t think it’s that I’m just bored with rock, though lord knows I’ve had my share of doubts about whether there’s anything intereting left to do. There are bands that maintain to hold my interest, though, so I don’t think I’m completely detached from the enjoyment of just plain ole’ rock n’ roll. So I can’t use that as an excuse for not liking What It Is… And How to Get It by a band called Shuggie (not to be confused with Shuggie Otis, of course). I think what I am bored with is the kind of rock Shuggie tries to pull off. Though some reviewers seem convinced that they are “punk-inspired” or the next step of evolution in the “gritty pop-rock tradition,” what they play is Big-Ass ’70s Country-toned Rock, redone as nothing especially different than what it used to be when it was in the ’70s. It’s all here… slightly twangy solo riffs, crunching guitar and pounding drums driving us towards that inevitable conclusion. Now, it isn’t even that I have such an aversion to the music they’re trying to ape (though I’ll admit in public that it’s all far from my favorite kind of listening experience, and perhaps in private I’ll confide in you that I never really cared for Lynyrd Skynyrd, or Grand Funk Railroad, or Aerosmith, or any of the Big Fucking Rock Bands that tend to fill stadiums. There are some exceptions of course, but then what’s life without exceptions to the rule?), but Shuggie doesn’t enfuse their chosen style with anything particularly interesting.