As much as craft and imagination guides our choice of musical pleasures and favourites it is instinct and organic connections which truly steer reactions and loves, both fully behind our swift and unconditional ardour for Shiver by Me. Not that the creative invention and agility of AM Taxi and their release falls short, it all going to make for one rousing slab of punk ‘n’ roll, but quite simply it is an album which just knows what our personal wants and pleasures are and feed all with tenacity.
The successor to We Don’t Stand A Chance, the Chicago band’s well-received 2010 Virgin Records released debut, Shiver by Me provides a romping, stomping fusion of old school punk and alternative rock with modern pop instincts. It snarls as it bounces, reeking defiance as it unleashes virulent catchiness across eleven boisterous encounters, all the while leaving ears and appetite greedy for more. It bursts into life with a bang and never leaves a want for anything thereon in.
Saint Jane provides that explosive beginning, cavorting rhythms linking up with a teasing guitar jangle as vocals wait to add their lively energy. Hitting full swing as guitarist Adam Krier adds his lead tones, the track is an insatiable pop punk temptation springing seventies punk with indie pop feverishness. There was no escaping its manipulation of body and vocal chords nor the swift ardour sparked and carried on by the following Harpoon. Echoing its predecessor, the track is just as persuasive and irresistible vocally as it is musically, Krier and the band’s backing effortlessly getting under the skin just as the swinging beats of Chris Smith, the brooding but eager grumble of Jason Schultejann’s bass and the melodic shenanigans of Jay Marino’s guitar alongside those of Krier. With devious hooks at every twist and turn, the track is viral contagion to which personal hollering was inevitable.
Next up Movie About Your Life proved to be no less of a puppeteer either, its acoustic strum and persuasive handclaps teasing to the great vocal snaring quickly in tow with melodic intimations lining the captivation as it bubbles up while Swim Before You Sink (Short Time on Earth) straight after uncages bold imagination brewed rock ‘n’ roll which fed every want in the personal book. Both tracks are simply outstanding continuing the impressively rousing roar of the album already in full flow.
Fighting in Cars is relatively calmer but still a spirited proposition with its lithe rhythms and melodic web while L’ Patron provides an ear romancing saunter with a fire in its belly and passion in its heart. Each of the pair hit the spot with their openly individual proposals; success fully matched by the indie rock hued punk pop canter of Stuck Around. The hook springing and vocal prowess of the band, let alone an inexhaustible rhythmic agility, is persistent across each track within the release and no more tantalising than here.
Through the Clash kissed Brandy Don’t Let Me Down and the reflective and skilfully dramatic Minute Alone, the album is as compelling and striking as ever, both slices of pleasure matched in creative kind by the soul nurtured Shaken Over You. Sam Cooke is named by the band as one of their influences, an inspiration breeding this treat, a song elevated further by a Jam-esque whiff.
The album closes with Warsaw Blues, a gentle slice of melodic intimacy which maybe did not inflame the passions as those before but left a certain pleasure and appetite for more of its almost smouldering temptation.
Shiver by Me is one riveting adventure from start to finish and AM Taxi a band no punk or rock ‘n’ roll fan should skip by without giving at least a curious listen.
Shiver by Me is out now @ https://amtaximusic.bandcamp.com/album/shiver-by-me and also available on limited vinyl this April through Mutant League Records.
Pete RingMaster 11/02/2019
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