“Guns and Money is a high-energy slab of dirty, sexy rock ‘n roll. As if The Black Keys were fronted by Jeff Buckley, Shadowclub are something to truly behold.” Lloyd Gedye – Mail & Guardian
“Shadowclub are the most exciting band that I have heard in the last few years. Its dirty blues with a modern, sweaty rock twist!” John Langford – Big Concerts
“It’s time South African music gave us a band to believe in again. That time is now, that band is the Shadowclub.” Jon Monsoon FHM
“Shadowclub are the most authentic and real rock band to come out of South Africa since the nineties. International quality. International appeal. Rock star all the way.” Therese Owen – The Star Tonight
“Every single song on this debut has hit potential and there’s no question that Guns And Money is the best album to come out of South Africa. Ever.” Caro Rayner – The New Age
“One day someone will be inspired after listening to The Shadowclub’s Guns ‘n Money album, to make the best Gangster movie of all time.” Catherine Grenfell – 5FM
When I first ever heard Shadowclub play, my jaw hit the floor. It wasn’t the tightness of the band or even the songs to be honest. It was just that I was listening to a genuine bona fide rock n roll group – I realized at that moment that I don’t think I’d ever actually heard one before.” Jon Savage-5FM
That Shadowclub planned to record their debut album in just 12 days, but completed it in nine, says much about the Johannesburg-based trio’s attitude to music. Their rootsy, bluesy rock is purposely fuss free. The dozen songs on their debut, ‘Guns & Money’, were recorded live with no backing track. Modern recording techniques may have been used, but they certainly weren’t relied on. Like the classic rock acts that inspire them, Shadowclub are about powerful songs performed with a passion that explodes from the speakers and, live, can be felt at full force by their fans.
“From the start, this was a back-to-basics band,” explains singer Jacques Moolman. “It had to be a three-piece so we could keep it simple. We wanted to make short, fast, banging tracks. Basically, music that was fun to play live and easy for a crowd to connect with.”
With ‘Guns & Money’, Shadowclub have succeeded in doing just that. The album’s title track is a furiously-paced, feel-good rocker, driven by an insistent, funk-fuelled bassline, cacophonous drums and a hip-shaking groove. You’ll hear shades of The Doors and The Ramones, snarled, seductive vocals and woo-hoos that cry out to be chanted back. On the woozy, bluesy ‘ Lucy’, a desolate Moolman describes leaving home for the first time and, intriguingly, recasts himself as a girl. ‘Good Morning Killer’ is a snappy song that recalls The Strokes, manages to be sexy and sleazy at the same time, and is based on the tale of a serial killer who is also a lover. Elsewhere, you’ll spot hints of The Who, The White Stripes, John Lee Hooker and Howlin’ Wolf.
Shadowclub’s desire to make stripped down songs stems partly from the bands they were listening to when they formed at the end of 2007.