Sound — 9
To describe the music off of Shake The Streets with a few words would have to be fast-paced (considering Ted Leo's DC punk background), fervent, urban rock sound with a 50's rockabilly vibe to it. Leo's guitars give off a hint of overdrive, distortion, trebly effects which give it a nice clean distorted sound. The guitar compliments Lerner's Fender/Ampeg bass rig. Lerner uses slight variations of simple chord progressions, which gives all the songs a solitary flow through each song. Chris Wilson's (drummer) nimble drumming uses every piece of the drumset in every song. His hasty beats keep the tempos of the songs going strong and fast. Wilson looks and plays like Jesus. All of the music that you hear on the CD can be done live, so there are few studio sounds added to the songs. All these elements flow into an unusual punk/indie sound that leaves you captivated.
Lyrics — 8
Overall, Leo's lyrics hints at his personal opinions modern on political and nationwide problems, especially with the war in Iraq and the Bush administration. Leo's graveled-voice singing gives a lively vocal melody that kind of hides the dark, serious meanings of each song. There is a definite connection between the musical sound, vocal melody, and lyrics that reveals the punk-influence.
Overall Impression — 9
Ted Leo + The Pharmacists is not the usual punk band. They are a great example of when indie and punk collide. The most notable songs of the album are Me and Mia (of course), Counting Down The Hours, The Angels' Share, Heart Problems, and basically the whole album. I love the influences that they have, the musical talent, and great song-writing abilities. There is very little to dislike about this album, overall it is a wonderful. And yes, if I were in a situation where I either had to buy this again or buy another, I would definitely buy this again. It is worth the measly $15. Support them!