Left Lane Cruiser: Shake and Bake Review

It’s been a solid two years since Left Lane Cruiser released an album, and their forthcoming Shake and Bake will be hitting streaming services just in time to set the tone for a high-octane summer. Set for release on Alive Records on May 31, Shake and Bake may sprint from start to finish with a running time of about 39 minutes, but the 10-track collection feels powerful for its lack of excess. It’s just enough of Left Lane Cruiser to simultaneously satisfy fans and leave them craving more.

Duo Freddy “Joe” Evans IV (on guitar and vocals) and Pete Dio (on drums and percussion) sound cool and calm on opening track “Two Dollar Elvis.” At just 2 minutes and 17 seconds, it’s the shortest track on the album—and one of the most effective. The pulsing riff starts Shake and Bake off with a rush of energy that’s compounded on the title track that follows. It’s all gruff vocals and axe-wielding confidence from Evans and concise attacks on the drum skins from Dio, a pairing that feels lived in and fitting for this kind of country-tinted blues rock.

Evans and Dio slow things down slightly for “Smoke Keeps Rising” before shifting into a new gear on “Breaking You Down,” one of the album’s strongest songs that feels like it hit just the right groove at just the right point in the album’s momentum. Evans gets a chance to break out his resonator for “Smooth Commander,” the album’s fifth track and most direct dip into the blues. Left Lane Cruiser return to their edgier rock base for the rest of the album, pulling out the stops for the fast-paced “Roll Me” and giving their music space to breathe on “The Waltz,” which is the album’s longest track at 5 minutes and 28 seconds.

Some albums are good to absorb because they’re innovative; others act as solemn recognition of artists or experiences gone by. But let’s be honest: Sometimes music fans want to listen to music that’s performed well and fun to play at top volume. Shake and Bake is the latter—and aren’t we lucky to have it just in time for summer’s kickoff.

The Review: 8.5/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Two Dollar Elvis
– Shake and Bake
– Breaking You Down
– Sweat Love to Shine

The Big Hit

– Breaking You Down

Review by Meghan Roos

Buy the album: Amazon | Amazon UK

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