Sometimes you do have to go for the attention grabbing opener, and when an EP is as good as this I don’t feel too bad in using it. Whilst perhaps not a household name, Mike Badger has a pretty solid pedigree, founder member of indie heroes The La’s. Now I have your attention. This is not however a rehash of a legacy, a well formed musician in his own right, Mike Badger & The Shady Trio is a collection of roots-rock with little in common with his indie heritage, other than an ear for a catchy melody. Opener I Love My Love is a classic Mersey Beat shuffle, short and sweet, a trick used more than once on the EP to great effect. The instantly loveable Ten Commandments Of Rock feels like Rocket From The Crypt covering Eddie Cochran and is quite simply fantastic. Imagine Charlton Heston standing on the mount, with a quiff and a leather jacket decreeing that ‘Thou shalt not covet another man’s guitar’, that is how much fun this song is. Shake It Up is an Elvis inspired rockabilly stomp, coming in at just a minute and half it is another highlight of the EP. Reminiscent of ‘The Ballad Of John & Yoko’, For Who I Am expresses the desire to find someone to ‘recognise me for who I am’, whatever happens, it will all be OK if you have that one special person close to you. A simple sentiment, delivered with all the feeling and none of the usual schmaltz the X-Factor generation would force feed you. Ending with the beautifully understated Everybody’s Drinking a track imbued with a real heartfelt sense of remorse and allowing the true quality of the musicianship and song writing to shine through. Coming in at just under 15 minutes for the whole EP, Mike Badger & The Shady Trio is a joy from start to finish, hopefully this is just a taster of what is to come because it certainly leaves you wanting more.
Call upon The Author -Jules (Angry Badger Records)