JIMMIE'S CHICKEN SHACK
Since beginning a decade ago, Jimmie's Chicken Shack has retooled nearly every facet of its career except frontman Jimi Haha and its name. The singer-guitarist can stay, but maybe the Annapolis band's handle should go.
It suggests rootsy, funky, old-fashioned music, which is not at all what the new "Re.Present" delivers. The album was recorded with help from members of various groups Haha has befriended on tour, bands with sleek one-word names such as Staind, Creed and Everclear. Meanwhile, the name of Haha's outfit evokes Chicken Shack, the '60s British band whose singer, Christine Perfect, later to became Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac.
"Re.Present" doesn't sound much like Fleetwood Mac. It opens with "Fallin' Out," a duet with Staind's Aaron Lewis, the emo-metal song's co-writer. The album ventures into soul-inflected hard rock with "Ghettoverit," glitter-punk with "Leech" and reggae with "Dead Sleep," a catchy tune with a secondhand lyric. Most of the material, however, is tuneful but thunderous pop-grunge. Maybe the Staind connection will introduce Haha's to a more congenial audience. For now, though, "Re.Present" is a strong album of music you'd never expect a band called Jimmie's Chicken Shack to play.
-- Mark Jenkins
Appearing Saturday at the State Theater with Knee Deep and Jackie Gino. * To hear a free Sound Bite from Jimmie's Chicken Shack, call Post-Haste at 301-313-2200 and press 8123. (Prince William residents, call 703-690-4110.)