Something about the name Rick Shaffer rang a bell when I received this weeks’ review.  There are plenty people with this name of course, and then I recalled that I reviewed Shaffer’s previous release, Hidden Charms, early last year.  Even better, I recalled that I quite liked it, and its raw garage rock sound.

Shaffer’s latest, Idiot Flats, is in a similar vein as Hidden Charms, but also shows some nice growth as well. It still has a very fuzzy blues rock sound; early Stones, yet modern day retro rockers like Black Lips at the same time.

While it does have this garage rock sound, Idiot Flats has a bit more southern blues in it from his previous effort.  This seems to better fit Shaffer’s vocal abilities more than the more rocking efforts heard previously.  The quality of the recording seems improved from his last outing as well and the sound certainly is fuller now.

Idiot Flats has once again shown me that I am a Rick Shaffer fan.  These are the kind of tunes I would love to hear at a dive bar over my next pint.  While I do enjoy all of the songs on their own, it does get a little repetitious in a straight listen though. Thinking back to Hidden Charms I have to say that I enjoy the improvements from that release, but felt there was a bit more variety in the previous album.  Regardless, Shaffer continues to put out quality bluesy, garage rock records worth checking out, and Idiot Flats is no exception.

KEY TRACKS: One More Heartache, Hard To Tell 

 Kevin Kozel • Senior Muzik Staff