We’ve followed the career of Louis Antoniou over the years back when he was a solo artist tearing out a rockabilly infused oeuvre that glistened with brylcreem and verve. Now with a band behind him under the collective name of Louis and The Shakes, the new single ‘Losing My Mind’ is an explosive rocket-fueled blast where a waft of gasolene and the throb of a fuel-injected engine can be detected in the driving beat.
It really is the most cathartic and satisfying journey – a reverberated unhinged rhythm section with drums that literally carve out a roomy space between your ears and fill it with a thumping insistent echoing beat, and guitars that scream and wail.
So unhinged are the guitars that I can only pay the band one of my greatest compliments – there is an intensity and derangement that recalls the madness of the legendary Rowland S Howard. It’s psychotic, it’s feral and yet married to the driving solid rhythm and Antoniou’s attitude-laden enigmatic vocals manages to create a very distinctive whole. Ultimately this is a whole that is hard to define – there remains the genetic code of Antoniou’s rockabilly leanings but there is an added frisson and thumping spine with all the impact of a sledgehammer, evoking the image of a swampy crocodile-infested bayou and a gallon of a oesophagus-piercing moonshine whiskey.
All wrapped up with elements of raffish insouciance, uncontrolled desire and some very impertinent thoughts.
It was written in lockdown, you can hear the angst and the fury from the band but don’t let the title fool you. Lyrically it’s about chasing the girl and it’s an integral song in the album in my eyes. It’s the first song on the record where the girl gets introduced, and her entrance is like a whirlwind as this song smacks ya in the face with this gnarly riff and sexy lyrics. The song keeps building and rising. There’s shouts, the bass gets heavier, the drums intensify and then this solo section drops in and it’s an explosion of sound! You can’t get away from it, you lose your mind. We got our first show back in July and we’re pumped to play this live. People won’t know what’s hit them when they hear it.
Fasten your seatbelts. The accompanying video is psychedelic and surreal and emulates the song title by teetering on the edge of sanity with the blitzkrieg sound and vision:
Absolutely terrific stuff.
‘Losing My Mind’ is out now and can be accessed through all the usual download/streaming sites here. Keep an eye out for an album in the near future.
Feature photograph: Linda Brindley