E.Z. Shakes has remerged with a clear shift of focus both sonically and lyrically. The band has traded out the acoustic guitars and pedal steels that helped shape their early efforts and have leaned into the more electric guitar driven sound of the newly revamped four piece.
The appropriately titled three song EP “Everything Changes” effectively captures a transitional moment in time for the band. And while the band seems to be embracing the inevitable changes that come with the growth of a project like this over time, there is an undeniable sense of nostalgia in the lyrical themes. In the opening track “Damn Fools” Zach Seibert offers his thoughts on what seems to be a fond remembrance of being young, naive and fearless. The uptempo opening track centers around Zach’s voice but is beautifully and tastefully accompanied by the chiming Peter Buck-esque guitar work of John Furr.
The rhythm section shines on this EP, particularly on the lead single “Waiting on the Bubble to Pop”. The grooves that Jim Taylor (bass) and Stanford Gardner (drums) have landed on with this record are true curveballs and often almost reminiscent of 90’s indie rock tunesmiths like Built to Spill and Hum. Seibert’s southern drawl and captivating vocal delivery are some of the few remaining artifacts of the band’s earlier sound. The closing track “Steps to a View” is a bit more reminiscent of the band’s previous releases but in no way feels like a regurgitation of a tried and tested formula. Rather it is a 5 plus minute epic that seems to push their earlier sound to its breaking point. The song feels like a sonic statement that the band is determined to embrace growth and change in a way that ultimately will keep them from being pigeonholed or creatively stifled.
We at Comfort Monk were excited to get an early preview of the record and think the quality of their work truly speaks for itself.