Typical of the blues, the EP’s instrumental work features simple and familiar chord progressions and extended lead guitar solos. The rhythmical drums lead to the listener foot stomping and the occasional harmonica, mandolin and even harp add a unique twist to songs such as “Swamp thing” and “Cage blues”.
Laubscher has been playing the guitar since the age of 15 and his instrumental solos are carefully crafted to highlight his technical skill and his musicality. Supported by session musicians, listeners can appreciate the reason why the EP’s production took so long was because of the large amount of thought put into each instrumental track.
Lyrics follow the same blues-influenced pattern as the instrumentation with themes of love, women and freedom. A notably different track, however, is “Brother” on which Laubscher sympathetically offers a friend a helping hand in times of trouble.
The EP is hard to fit neatly into one specific genre as each song varies slightly in tone. “Cage blues” has a slightly upbeat country feel, “Killing me” is far darker and moodier and on the flip side is the hard rock track “Rambling man”. This appears to be intentional and rather astute on Laubscher’s part as it ensures the listener never grows bored of what could easily become just noise.
As a first offering, Shakedown is catchy, fresh and will appeal to a wide range of ages. The EP sets a promising tone for the band and places them comfortably onto the local blues scene.