Nominee at the 10th annual LA Music Awards
The Shamus Twins: Press
Nice mention of a Jerry solo/Shamus Twins song, What Is It You Want From Me”, which was featured on the 17th International Pop Overthrow compilation Disc
In brief “…Disc Three features a nice capstone to this collection of incredible range when it hits a stride beginning with The Shamus Twins’ “What is it You Want from Me.” So begins a propulsion of road songs, from this song reminiscent of The Triffids’ “Wide Open Road” to the surf rock of “Crazy Girl” by Beyond Veronica…”
Ted Frank – The Second Disc (Aug 5, 2014)
“Garden Of Weeds” – CD reviews
Unsigned Treasures: The Shamus Twins – Garden of Weeds (2010)
By Nick DeRiso
Equal parts Summer of Love songcraft and heartland soul, the Shamus Twins’ Garden Of Weeds is as apt to jangle as it is to twang. That’s reflective of the Los Angeles-based band’s founders, guitarist Jerry Juden and bassist Tim Morrow, two halves of the same genre-busting whole.
They take turns with songwriting duties, recalling the long-ago heyday of the John Lennon-Paul McCartney partnership. But the Shamus Twins don’t stick to the Fab template for long. They are old school, but not unaware of what came after. So while there is a heaping helping of shimmering power pop on Garden of Weeds, the Shamus Twins also bring along a uniquely American garage-band aesthetic.
That makes for an interestingly restless amalgamation, with detours into the Rolling Stones, the Byrds, Neil Young, the Hollies and later jangle-pop descendent bands from the 1980s. Yet, for all of that looking back, the Shamus Twins’ lyrics remain steadfastly in the moment, and completely of their time.
Juden’s Byrds-influenced title track, for instance, speaks to the ennui associated with a consumerist society that only wants what it can not quite grasp: “I work for so hard,” he sings, “but there is still so much I want.”
“You Know My Name,” a song by Morrow with a sizzling solo by second guitarist Dino Lambropoulos, smartly references the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” even while copping to the Shamus Twins’ anachronistic throwback attitudes: “Not young and I must admit, I won’t be on any covers,” Morrow sings.
The Shamus Twins then dive head-long into the Stones-inspired “I Never Been Happy,” unleashing all of that band’s most familiar elements—a loose guitar groove, gnarly Keith Richards-ish vocal and darkly intriguing lyric. That juxtaposes well with the country-rocking “Ain’t Letting Go” which sounds like Buffalo Springfield on a honky-tonk holiday.
They return, it seems, most often to the Beatles. Morrow, whose vocals mimic the rock and roll whine of a youthful John Lennon, clearly shares a passion with Juden for ’60s-era mop-topped beatitude. Yet even as the Shamus Twins’ clearest, most direct influences trace back to the British Invasion, Garden of Weeds keeps bringing in subsequent sounds. There are notable complexities just below the surface.
“Did You Have to Change,” the only tune on Garden of Weeds co-written by both Juden and Morrow, takes flight behind the Fabs’ familiar intertwined vocals and nifty song structure. But Juden’s too excitable to provide counterpoint melodies as sweetly complimentary as Paul McCartney’s, and that’s a good thing.
Morrow’s “Life Is Strange,” this power-pop gem, adds a yelping sneer and post-modern lyric in keeping with the retro-cool of ’80s bands like the dBs and R.E.M. Juden’s tough “Beyond You,” a tightly wound Hollies-inflected revenge song, is scuffed up with this crunchy, coiled guitar. Morrow’s “Don’t Cry to Me” and “I Know I Know,” a stalker tune by Juden, both have the clean percussive vibe of early post-punk.
A closer listen to “I Know I Know” uncovers a bridge bolstered by the joys of ’60s-era girl-group harmonies. Juden’s “A Picture of Her” again neatly recalls the driving Rickenbacker folk rock of Roger McGuinn, then stirs in some a sun-drenched harmony straight out of the Beach Boys.
It’s that kind of recording, with an itchy creative spark.
“We do what we want,” the band says on a blog post introducing this CD. “We’ll never be famous anyway.”
That could change if the Shamus Twins keep putting out albums as consistently entertaining as the tuneful and engrossing Garden of Weeds.
Nick DeRiso – All About Jazz (Jan 9, 2011)
The Shamus Twins “Garden Of Weeds”
Posted on January 3, 2011
The Shamus Twins, consisting primarily of Jerry Juden and Tim Morrow, set out to make music of their own without any pre-conceived notions of what would be acceptable in this day and age. The resulting project has produced some retro rock that has rarely been put into effect in modern music with any sense of passion since this “retro” stuff was actually en vogue. Combining the likes of The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Neil Young, and Stevie Ray Vaughn amongst others, their second album entitled Garden of Weeds is like a Time Life collection of classic rock hits as filtered through the minds of Juden and Morrow, and a refreshing dip into a piece of Americana.
What makes Garden of Weeds so refreshing is the lack of fusion in their music. Instead of adapting to attract the young kids with progressive riffs and beats, The Shamus Twins are shamelessly plugging all of their favorite musicians into a collection of well produced, well played, passionate music that personifies the tunes that made the 60′s (primarily) such an amazing time for rock music. The Shamus Twins don’t pander to the big influential acts. They take to heart the whole generation of rock during this era, from the garage acts, to the bands that brought storms of screaming fans to their shows. This spirit is what makes this album stand out. Virtually every track on Garden of Weeds represents a little sliver of history from our rock and roll culture. With this in mind, it becomes essential that in order to give this record its just desserts, a track by track description of a few of these telling songs is crucial in understanding the colorful history that Garden of Weeds represents.
The title track “Garden of Weeds,” for example, represents an amalgamation of Tom Petty with the surf rock vibes from the institution known as The Beach Boys. This is a combination that any self respecting Tom Petty and/or Beach Boys fan should be dying to hear. “Ain’t Letting Go” brings to life the folk and rock affair courtesy of greats like Crosby Stills & Nash, Creedence Clearwater Revival and McGuinn, Clark, & Hillman for a catchy, upbeat helping of down home, feel good music that forces a smile on the face of even the most downtrodden individual. “I Know I Know” is a fireball of a track, with the spirit of the 80′s blues rock revival specialists Stevie Ray Vaughn and George Thorogood, and the 1950′s progenitor Jerry Lee Lewis. Where The Shamus Twins had the fortitude to come up with such unbridled classic tunes is a question posed by any rock aficionado worth their salt.
And what would a recounting of classic rock through the ages be without a song representing the 1950′s into early 60′s bubblegum pop groups? “A Picture of Her” is a gorgeous tune that harkens back to a bygone era more effectively than any other song on this album (which is saying a lot), with exceptional harmonies and pure, undistorted guitar licks that recall a simpler time in music history. “Beyond You” is an especially interesting song that brings to life the energy of Fleetwood Mac, with the 90′s pop rock vibes of The Wallflowers, and even a touch of Bob Dylan. Unlike most of the record, “Beyond You” represents the most progressive song on Garden of Weeds, with heavier modern riffs, but with the same classic spirit that engulfs this whole collection. Perhaps what makes this song really special though, is the combination of two generations of Dylan music, which is quite enjoyable and original.
The Shamus Twins have crafted a unique blend of some of America’s most talented artists throughout history that few before them have even considered combining. We have had revivals of so many different forms of rock, blues, folk, jazz and virtually any other kind of music art form, but having one album that personifies an entire generation of musical mastership in rock and roll, has probably never really been crafted until now, on Garden of Weeds.
Review by Cody Plucker
Rating: 4 stars (Out of 5)
Cody Plucker – ReviewYou (Jan 4, 2011)
“The Shamus Twins” – self titled first CD reviews
“Tight musicianship, irresistible hooks & magical rock-pop vibes threaten to overwhelm the unsuspecting listener on this sleeper of an album. This power trio delivers…
– Kevin Mathews, fufkin.com
Kevin Mathews – Fufkin.com
“…world-class songs…imaginative, memorable and rockin’…fiercely independent attitude…full of surprises…a nonstop roller coaster ride through rock and pop land…” – All Access Magazine (Los Angeles)
– All Access Magazine
“Classic power pop…a bit more crunch…lots ‘o jangle…the requisite array of memorable hooks that make pop fans drool…Extremely Highly Recommended…” – Not Lame
– Not Lame
Talkin’ about The Shamus Twins, in brief
(The Shamus Twins are)”…One of my favorite bands from L.A… this is a band that every power pop fan should investigate…”
-David Bash, critic, founder and CEO of International Pop Overthow (from his Facebook blog)
– David Bash
“…they have a sound that mixes heartland rock with power pop…”
– Absolute Powerpop
“…The sound is straight-ahead garage styled power pop that will appeal to fans of the Grip Weeds, Beatles, Kinks and other guitar-centric bands…”
(The Shamus Twins’ Garden Of Weeds sounds like) “…Badfinger jamming with Sutherland Brothers and Blue…”
– Kool Kat Musik
“…These guys have a wonderful sense of melody and can harmonize like there’s no tomorrow – seriously these are terrific arrangements…”
(Garden Of Weeds) “…gets better every spin…lots to love on repeated spins…”
– Bills Music Forum