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The Communicator

Mover Shaker

An Interview With Local Detroit Band, Mover Shaker, And A Look Into Their Debut Album "MICHIGANIA"

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Left To Right: Parsons, Miller, R. Shea, C. Shea
Photo By Liam Rush

In the midst of a recent boom in guitar driven music, one local band has stood out to me in particular. I saw this band play a show in the spring of 2016 and was blown away by their performance. That band is Detroit’s very own Mover Shaker. Formed in February 2014, the group consists of vocalist and guitarists Jack Parsons and Gabriel Miller along with brothers Ryan and Colin Shea on bass and drums respectively. Mover Shaker released their debut LP, titled “MICHIGANIA” on Dec. 9, 2016.

The band recorded “MICHIGANIA” with Thomas Dobbins at Rax Trax Recording in Chicago. “Thomas was an acquaintance from high school for a few of us” Miller States, “he left for Full Sail University right after high school and graduated right around when Mover Shaker was looking to record an EP.” The Mentioned EP would go on to become their debut release “The Living Standards ” EP.

Liam Rush
Artwork by Liam Rush

Over the following year, the band spent their time crafting a solid set of songs and “working awful jobs to save up for weekend trips to Chicago,” says Miller. Mover Shaker worked tirelessly in the studio, as described by Miller, “We spent around 140 hours recording, overall. We would work for 20 hours straight through the night, often times ending our sessions in the early morning.”

The Phrase found on the band’s Facebook page, technicolor gloom rock for the bad kids on the block” hits the nail on the head when describing the wall of sound and emotion that is “MICHIGANIA.” Combing crazy Tera Melos like time signatures with desperately delivered vocals, “MICHIGANIA” blew me away from the first track.

Some Highlights from the album include tracks such as “No Backyard,” “Quiet Room” and “Low.” “No Backyard” is in my opinion the most powerful song on the album. Catchy guitars and strong drumming are evenly matched by a solid bass line. The lyrics are vulnerable and are delivered with an incredible amount of passion, “Back Yards and Cigarette Smoke / for loved ones you’ve had to let go / you’ll bend in the Michigan heat / I just wanna sing something sweet.”

“Quiet Room” was the first singles released off of the album and is one of the most flawlessly written songs I have heard in a long time. The intro, comprised of a peppy riff, builds perfectly into a dark and powerful chorus “I can’t scream to let you know / I can’t bear to let this go / and all the colors in your eyes / I don’t wanna see you cry anymore.”

“Low” is a shoegazers dream. It is very clear there were a few pedals and a hearty dose of vibrato used on this one (not that there aren’t on every other song on the album) giving the guitars a shimmery sound that washes around underneath the vocals. Just as with every other track, the vocals feel true and passionate and the instrumentals are delivered with a strong sense of conviction.

When asked how the band feels the album is being received by the public Miller responded, “It’s really hard to gauge how well your own music is doing. All our friends love it, but you can’t really count on your friends to tell you if your music sucks, ya know?” Since the release of “MICHIGANIA” the band has been receiving messages from a number of fans across the country requesting they play shows in their city or telling them how much they and their friends love the album. “I know we’re a relatively small act now, but creating a stable following comes with time,” wise words from Miller but I don’t think they are going to have any trouble cultivating a large following.

“MICHIGANIA” is an incredibly impressive debut release and shows that this Detroit quartet is going places. Miller ends the interview with some words of hope for the band, “We all believe in this record, we believe in this band, and we’re ready to push ourselves to the brink of exhaustion and back to make our mark on music.”  

The album is available on limited cassette from Funeral Sounds and can be heard on Bandcamp, itunes and Spotify. Check out “MICHIGANIA” here!

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A student voice.
Mover Shaker