This is a review of "El Shake" recorded by Mama Scuba. The review was written by Sam Robson in 2005.
I deliberately delayed starting this review as the first listen frightened me into the thought that the single El Shake might be too challenging to describe very well, but when I played it today things became distinctly clear... this is just very very good.
"El Shake" (the first track) is brooding and hyperactive below a mass of battling organ and guitar noise, and at 2mins 17seconds it's gone before you know it. Mama Scuba sound like the Leeds band equivalent of snake charmers in the intro, and by the end they are swinging the snake above their heads like it's a football rattle. "Lazy Belay" makes the most of the singer's trebly vocal tones in a poppy stomp-along with a seriously catchy chorus, a perfectly laired production and (what seems like it may be characteristic) an implosive ending.
Mama Scuba can really play, especially the drummer who knocks out some exemplary manic fills and solos during the single's final effort. "Sweet Girl" is full of wild guitar noises blurring picked rhythms, manic fits and starts and retching vocals. It's like banging your head against a wall, yet enjoyable.
I can't say any more because I've been truly beaten into submission. This single is all of its own in feeling, and above so many others in delivery that it just feels unique to my limited musical education, to the point where all I can say is "It's just very very good".