Just over 10 years ago everyone was tripping over themselves to hear the new sound that was coming out of Seattle. Now the fashion has once again moved on and the city famous for Grunge, rain and Starbucks, give us a band that mixes Hardcore and Pop/Punk, allegedly. Yeah, I know it's a strange mixture.
The band has a distinctive sound in the voice of Scott, who, how can I put this, sounds like Bobcat Goldwaith, or better known to you and I as Zed from the Police Academy films, in the way he screeches out the lyrics like perhaps he's trying to physically destroy his vocal chords! A classic example is on 'Ebb and Flow' which could well be a gentle song, but with Scott's unorthodox vocal style, comes across as brash and un-tuneful.
First song on 'Facetious Folly Feat' is 'Carms Race', which is a large slice of Hardcore, and for the most part is what you can expect from this album. 'So Grow Up' shows a little more promise with big beats and the music is a little like AFI. The unfortunate thing is that a lot of the songs can easily merge into one. 'Virginia Beach Vanity Plate' gives a slight change with faster beats and even borders on being catchy, as does 'Ink Pen Shopping Spree', but there is a tendency for the music to just end up being slightly tedious.
Shook Ones are described as being somewhere between Descendants and Black Flag, however there is little of the geek pop/punk of the former, nor the real passion and grit of the latter. The album does have flashes of originality, but the same formula is used the whole way through, and it's a job to know whether having screeching vocals is the way to go for a heavier sound, when a better and more successful way would've been by letting the music and lyrics do this for you.
I'll admit that the first time that I heard this I really wasn't taken, however after a handful of listens I can see how this is one of those albums that will grow on you, the question is, have you got the patience, and whether you can put up with the vocals? It's really a close call.