Dim The Lights, Chill The Ham

I can't tell whether I should shelve the Shadowy Men under "4 Real" or not. I mean, maybe they're the Raybeats of the '90s, eh?

In case your main activity at the time was of the thumbsuck variety, the Raybeats were and early '80s conglomeration of Lower East Side Art School walles who though it'd be real cutiepue to go surfbeat. And, yup, the results were about as bloog-inducing as you'd imagine. Trust me: You missed nada …

The Shadowy Men have a more pleasant stench than the Raybeats. Sure, there's something decidedly off-kilter about 'em, like they're perhaps receiving shortwave broadcasts from Cygnus X-11. Of course, all great rock 'n' roll possesses that quality, which puts these Canucks in hefty company. And obviously the deejay at Radio Cygnus X-11 to which the Shadowy Men are tuned in at all times is spinning ungodly proportions of the Shadows, Link Wray, John Barry, Duane Eddy, the Shadows, Chet Atkins, The Ventures, Jorgen Ingemann, the Shadows, and (oh, yeah!) the Shadows.

By the way, did I mention these guys probably listen to the Shadows a whole lot?

Still, there's some alien virus infectin' this band. I mean, we are talkin' about a bunch who cut an EP, released last year on K Records, dedicated to pets, complete with a cover shot of Kitty perched before a Fender Twin. This time, there's a cartoonish rendering of a ham on a platter riding this sleeve. And, no, I don't denote a decidedly foolish theme permeating this disc, so I guess these Molson drinkers just deemed it a cool graphic.

Still, I wanna know what form of lil' green man is haunting these guys' Fender Mustangs. Is his name Hank Marvin? (P.S. In case you can't tell, I like this band. A lot.)

  -- Tim Stegall