Strand Of Oaks: Shot of Joy

Photo by Alysse Gafkjen Timothy Showalter doesn’t know exactly what “Moon Landing” is all about, but that didn’t stop him from making it the gravitational center of Eraserland, his sixth album as Strand of Oaks. The song opens with a brash, swaggering groove, a tight rhythm section pounding out a steady beat as his friend Jason Isbell shreds furiously, scribbling in the margins of the music. Showalter eulogizes Malcolm Young from AC/DC and Chris Cornell from Soundgarden, barks about old bands and older friends, drops a few references to his previous albums, and generally sounds like a fire-and-brimstone preacher pounding his guitar like a bible … or maybe a psychedelic guru explaining his narcotic theology between mouthfuls of pills. It’s a wild, wicked performance, as heavy and as unhinged as anything Strand of Oaks has ever recorded. “Moon Landing” lands just shy of ridiculous — and that may be why Showalter loves the song so much. “It was written so intensely fast,” he says from his home in Philadelphia. “How I write songs sometimes is, I’ll start revving myself up, then I move around the room a lot. I was probably blasting some AC/DC, and then nine verses just came…

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