Don’t commit the error of missing out on the lead single from this roots-rocking South Carolina band’s upcoming LP The Spirit.
The latest single from E.Z. Shakes just sounds big. It wrestles with major spiritual issues with a stomping, twangy, richly reverb-soaked musical backdrop that could double as the soundtrack to a psychedelic spaghetti western filmed under an endless desert sky.
That’s rather fitting because the momentum behind singer-songwriter Zach Seibert’s project shows no sign of slowing — and the band itself has grown as well, adding guitarist John Furr, drummer Stan Gardner, and bassist Jim Taylor to the original lineup of Seibert and pedal steel wiz Todd T. Hicks.
“Written in late October of 2019, ‘Making Mistakes’ is an autobiographical song about our human condition and the frustrations associated with longing for something seemingly unattainable (in this case, my childhood faith)," Seibert says of the single in publicist-provided material. “The song opens with me discontent with life and disillusioned with God. Meanwhile, I'm steadily digging a deeper hole by trying to live up to some impossible standard (i.e ‘Making Mistakes’).
“In the second verse, I'm reflecting on the person I've become vs. the man I'm called to be. Wrestling with personal vices, eternal questions, and the fight or flight itch to get the hell out of Dodge, we find ourselves at the last line of the song, ‘Have you ever killed a man and drank His blood like wine?/I tell you man, I've done it and I swear it changed my life,’ which is a reference to Communion and forgiveness.
“Musically, we were very intentional in our approach as a band, in that we wanted it to have a dark, plodding and desperate feel, as if it were the theme song to some modern Acid Western. I think we succeeded. To date, I think it's one of my personal favorites, as well as a great, all-around introduction to E.Z. Shakes.”
Wow. Add enough reverb to a twangy guitar riff and a clever songwriter can make the idea of holy communion as a cannibalistic murder ritual go down smoother than a shot of good bourbon — or a glass of fine wine, we should say. Check it out, and see if The Spirit moves you when it comes out October 9 on Pow Pow Sound.
Photography: Saul Seibert