Reviewed by Margaret Moser, Fri., May 12, 2006
Knock Yourself Out (Killingbird)
In 10 songs and under 28 minutes, Shandon Sahm connects on his second solo CD, Knock Yourself Out. It's not the knock-out punch, but it's solid enough to rock fans back on their heels, a position his late father Doug Sahm would have relished. The youngest Sahm emerged in the late Eighties with Pariah, then drummed his way through the Sir Douglas Quintet, the Meat Puppets, and Gibby Haynes & His Problem. On Knock Yourself Out, Sahm's retro-groove embraces old-school glam with a glittering vengeance, flying out of the Iggy closet with raw power, and banging the T. Rex gong with a hint of early Bowie oddity ("Rock n Roll Demon," "Woofie," "I Don't Belong"). Sahm wrote or co-wrote eight songs, including the Gibbyesque "Marijuana and Sex," while the not-always-obvious vocal similarity to his father is wistfully evident on supercharged versions of Doug's "I'm Not That Kat Anymore" and "Give Back the Key to My Heart" (the snippet of Doug talking is bittersweet). Tough musicianship comes courtesy of Tony Scalzo, Bukka Allen, and Kevin McKinney, among others. KYO's crunch is metallic without being bombastic, but what Sahm does best is avoid drone-rock overkill, sealed with a Kiss.