Release Date: Jun 19, 2012
Record label: Collective Sounds
Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys has played a big part in Hacienda's story to date -- he discovered the San Antonio-based band when they passed him a demo CD at a club gig, he produced their first two albums, and recruited them to serve as his backing band for a solo tour. But while musicians usually step away from their protégés and give them some breathing room with the passage of time, Auerbach has done just the opposite on Hacienda's third album, Shakedown. This time, Auerbach not only produced the sessions, he co-wrote the songs with the members of Hacienda, and while the band's retro-pop vision and Southwestern soul came through loud and clear on their early recordings, all of that's a bit muffled on Shakedown.
“What about the plans we made,” Hacienda asks on the alluring chorus to opening track “Veronica”. On their latest album, Shakedown, the San Antonio collective embraces its own influences without foregrounding them, which means that despite the prevalence of anxious, hyper self-aware rock albums as of late, some bands may not think twice about working in 30-year-old styles and forms. Sometimes, a good hook is enough.
No band have been cheering more for the success of the Black Keys than this San Antonio, TX quartet, who have worked with the Keys' Dan Auerbach on their previous two albums. Auerbach returns for production duties on Shakedown and his funky mix of vintage pop, R&B and glam rock is sure to make this record intriguing to anyone who jumped on the Keys' bandwagon with El Camino. Shakedown also contains more than a few sonic lessons that Auerbach has learned from Danger Mouse.
Having nailed its Tex-Mex spin on garage rock & soul with 2010's Big Red & Barbacoa, Hacienda altered that musical brand the third time around. Unfortunately, the San Antonio quartet takes so many turns throughout Shakedown that the group's lost its sense of direction. The rhythm still drives the band, with big beats and big bass on tunes like opener "Veronica" and "You Just Don't Know." Meantime, the fuzzed-up Sixties dive of "Let Me Go" chugs hard and straightforward, yet lost in the bottom-heavy mix are compelling harmonies.