New Sounds: Dead Trains invite us all to ‘Shake ‘Em On Down’



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There’s an age-old promotional tactic for dance parties and rock shows held on the weekend after Thanksgiving, and they all revolve around a loose theme of shaking your bits to combat all those extra pounds padded on at the dinner table. Welp, this year we failed to crash any dance party, an Liam cancelled on us on Saturday, so the rock and roll fitness routine extends to tonight, and it’s soundtracked by Dead Trains‘ blues-punk ripper of a rocker, “Shake ‘Em On Down.”


The track builds up a paranoid sweat over its three-and-a-half minutes, culminating into one monster freakout that has us spinning on our turkey legs. “Shake ‘Em On Down” is the latest taste off the Boston trio’s new EP, Big Fun, and it gets the record-release party treatment tonight (November 27) at Great Scott on Allston, a joint that knows a thing or two about shaking down.

“‘Shake ‘Em On Down’ has probably become our favorite song to play and (it appears) audiences’ to hear,” Dead Trains tell Vanyaland. “The title is an old sexual idiom which you can hear in blues songs from the ’20s and ’30s. It evokes the riotous world of the barrelhouse—dancing, drinking, gambling, shooting. In that sense, ‘Shake ‘Em On Down’ is classic Dead Trains — not the necessarily the riotous behavior, although we’re no strangers to dancing and drinking, but the shaping influence of old blues and its traditional themes on our music. At the same time, I think the song bespeaks new developments in our songwriting, both aesthetic and compositional.”

Dead Trains’ Big Fun EP has come together in a more collaborative way than previous releases, with each member contributing to the writing and recording. “So, in a way, this new EP feels not just like our newborn,” the band adds, “but our firstborn.”


Shake that baby via Soundcloud, and loosen up them belts.

Featured Dead Trains photo by Humar Miranda.