Shannon Shaw's swooping, guttural wail and formidable stage presence have set her Oakland-based band, Shannon and the Clams, apart in the city's prolific garage rock scene, but it's the trio's songwriting dynamic that makes their records so appealing.
Shaw and co-writer/singer/guitarist Cody Blanchard share a love of reverby, old-time-radio pop oddities and trashy punk that plays out as a taut and punchy blend of Lou Christie's crooning and Wanda Jackson's uninhibited rawness. Where Shaw and Blanchard diverge is in their lyrical approach: the former pens allusive, nostalgic ditties, while the latter conjures psychedelic fictional narratives.
Dreams In The Rat House isn't as diverse or ambitious as its predecessor, Sleep Talk, but it shows an increasing ability to balance winsome harmonies, raucous drumming and jangly guitar riffs while maintaining the unvarnished punk quality that makes them irresistible.
Top track: Into A Dream