While Savvy Show Stoppers is obviously the most immediately worthwhile of Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet's releases -- and only true fans of the band will feel a need to own more than one of their albums -- Dim the Lights, Chill the Ham is an equally appealing collection of post-indie surf revival; the band's true asset is that they really seem to be more than just a surf band, and there's a sense of rock and variety in Dim the Lights that should appeal well beyond the boundaries of the genre.
Borrowing as much from UK pre-Beatles instrumental legends the Shadows as the reverb-drenched American surfmeisters of the '60s, Toronto's Shadowy Men are a tough act to duct-tape to the chair. These '90s guys keep squirming loose to add unexpected elements to their brew. Benny Goodman's "Swing, Swing, Swing" pops up in "I Know a Guy Named Larry." And "Bang Bang," the Sonny Bono tune, tellingly combines gypsy swagger and 007 intrigue with a rockabilly bridge. Like San Francisco's Mermen, this is kinda surf and kinda not. When the Shadowy Men play Brian Wilson's "In My Room," you can bet they've got a pail of water balanced over the door, just waiting for some sap to walk in.
Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet is the seminal Canadian instrumental combo formed in Toronto, in 1984. The band is perhaps best known for providing the theme song to the sketch comedy TV show, The Kids in the Hall. They released three albums before disbanding in 1996, reconstituting once again in 2013. Dim the Lights, Chill the Ham is their second album.
Brian Connelly: guitar, keyboards
Reid Diamond: guitar
Don Pyle: drums
Produced and mixed by Coyote Shivers
Recorded by Ormond Jobin
Recorded at Reaction Studios and Grant Avenue Studio