The Shakey Aches
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The Shakey Aches

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | INDIE

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | INDIE
Band Rock Punk


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Pretty Good Music"

At eight minutes’ worth of music, it’s a modest catalogue. But The Shakey Aches’ drummer Tim Matthews is confident Pretty Bad Records, the label he recently launched with the aid of bandmate Matthew James and fellow local rocker Dick Altavista, will soon build on the 45 being celebrated at the Dominion Tavern Saturday night.

“It was a really selfish thing,” Matthews says over beers at the recently reborn Aloha Room. “We just wanted to put our own stuff out, and this was a way to do it. Starting a record label, had it been on my radar all my life? Yes. Did I really want to do it? No. But I hooked up with a couple of other people and it seemed like it might not be so far-fetched an idea.

“We started to talk about doing the label,” he adds, “and soon people started coming to us.”

People like The Johnnies and The Middens, like-minded lo-fi and low chord-count bands in the great garage-rock tradition. Saturday’s show — which will feature all three bands — can be seen as much as a preview of coming attractions as it is a chance to pick up Pretty Bad Records’ debut release — a two-sided seven-inch featuring the shouter Junk Island and a moodier track called Hunger & Boredom.

“It started as a DIY project just to put out the band’s own material on wax,” Matthews says. “No one’s gonna put us out, so you kind of have to do it yourself anyhow. And we could shop the record around (to labels) for six months, but by that time the band’ll probably be broken up. So we just did it old school. And then we started thinking, well, we’ll just start our own label. And we already had a few bands in mind — bands of the same ilk.”

The plan is to release 45s only, with of course a download code included with each vinyl release. The songs can also be heard via the band’s website. But Matthews and his bandmates — the remaining members are guitarist Darrell Angus and bassist Brian Maxwell — are confident fans of the band will want the real thing.

“We encourage the theft of our music,” Matthews says of the tracks’ ready online availability. “Go ahead, take it. We just want people to hear it. Maybe no one’s gonna buy the single either, but since we put a little bit of extra work into the art, hopefully people will say, ‘This is kinda cool. I want to add it to my collection, because it’s nice.’”

Meanwhile, Matthews and his fellow Shakey Aches are preparing to add to their fledgling Pretty Bad collection.

“It’s for bands that were gonna put out a single anyhow, and just want a little bit of extra help,” he says of the label’s purpose. “We’ll basically cut the cost in half for you. And you get community support, comradery… I could see later on down the road, when we get five or six singles maybe we’ll put them together in a nice package.”

For now, the package is of the plain brown wrapper variety, with the song titles hand-stamped on the sleeve. Future releases, Matthews says, will have that stamp on the record itself, but initial pressings came with an unexpectedly glossy label.

“I guess that makes them collectors’ items,” Matthews says with a laugh. “But we’re learning. We’re new to this. And… lesson learned, right?” - The Wig

"SOUND SEEKERS: Pretty Bad Records . . ."

That’s the sound of bluesy, punky chords, thick, wailing lines and oozing grooves and it sounds so fine coming out of a new lil’ Ottawa quartet called The Shakey Aches. The band has baby-faced Matt Clare taking the mike with his vintage yell. He stirs up the thick sounds with the help of bass player Brian Maxwell, lead guitarist Darrell Angus and drummer Tim Matthews. Their music is the stoner’s delight with a mix of songs that either make your hips shake or mess with the depths of your melon.

The band just released two songs on a 45 RPM piece of wax, which you can find wrapped in a paper-bag sleeve and stamped with the name Pretty Bad Records.

Matt and Tim of The Shakey Aches started the label in 2010. They wanted to create an old-school look for the sleeve packaging — something that would recall early Sun Records. (It’s not the only reference to musical legends. The band name Shakey Aches recalls another musical icon with its misspelling.)

The label will release only seven-inch vinyl records, all packaged in the same paper sleeves with the same album stickers. (The differentiation is in the band name and song names). Kind of like how it used to be, when those of us of a certain age would buy singles.

Start (or revive) your collection with the first single from The Shakey Aches. The band is selling it for $5 at the launch of Pretty Bad Records. (With the new label comes an unintended side effect, a hyper local rebrand of the initials PBR.) With all-girl group, The Johnnies and The Middens, a trio. Saturday, May 7. 10 p.m. $8. Dominion Tavern, 33 York St. - Ottawa Magazine


Longtime friend and former collaborator Matt Clare is a university course on how to be a front man. His songs are great and you’ll never see him half-ass a single word on stage. We’re really happy and excited about his new, up and coming outfit, The Shakey Aches. -

"07.12 Hollows, Shakey Aches & Peach Kelli Pop!"

These guys have only been around a few months and have already planted their roots deep in Ottawa's dirt. Frantic and heartfelt rock and roll. If you haven't seen them yet you've been missing out. -

"Capital Distraction & RRPP presents..."

In just under a year The Shakey Aches have gonna from unknown to fixture in Ottawa's smoldering underground scene. There's something somehow familiar and foreign in their sound: fierce, haunting and from the heart. An forthcoming single is expected any day. Maybe if we cross our fingers hard enough... -

"Achin' All Over"

If this is Monday (which it isn't now, but was back on July 12) then the beast that is Bluesfest slumbers (apart from a few stirrings in the Byward Market) and I must seek my evening's entertainment in the clubs that are my usual haunts. Strangely enough Chicago's Hollows decided to breeze through town and put a show on with lo-fi pop cutie Peach Kelli Pop and The Shakey Aches. When I went through the front door of Babylon - where the show was held after some fiddling - The Shakey Aches already had a couple of songs and some technical difficulties under their belts. Specifically, frontman Mean Mad Matthews vocal reverb had expired. Fortunately he can make do without it. The band features folks from Art Burn, The Glads, The Desecrators and Screamin' Fists, so you know the music has a gentle reverence for the eardrums of its listeners. Yes, that is sarcasm.

They're playing next at the Rock'N'Roll Pizza Party Oct. 7 ... it'll be something of a Desecrators reunion since Mississippi Grover is also on the bill. An EP is also in the works. -

"CHUO Funding Drive"

It's funding drive! CHUO put on a show! Community radio is totally bad ass and you should make a pledge to your fave program! More exclamation marks! CHUO staff also all listen to really bangin' tunes and thus the selection of fine young (and not so young) bands playing this fundraiser. The Shakey Aches were all incarnations of pop-/proto-/garage-/country-/blues- punk. Yes that is lots of prefixes and no I'm probably not on the money with all of them but why not. I love Holy Cobras and they're always (always!) fun to watch but the mix for them was pretty shit and as such it sounded really muted when I wanted it to be all enveloping. But still, try listen to them and stand still the whole time. Not possible I tells ya. And the band whose name is a symbol ... I don't even know what to say. 9-piece psychedelic-extravaganza, everyone was blissing out. Check out the religious-experience facial expressions. Just go see them when they play. There were lots of old dudes (sorry, am I showing my age?) having a good ol' dance too. Muchos fun. -

"Lounge Lizards"

Last night's Rock'N'Roll Pizza Party was not without its bumps. There was strap breakage, amp malfunction, stomp-box sufferation and of course while the folks at MVP Lounge were awful swell to host it on with such short notice, the Bank St. sports bar is definitely an odd venue for Ottawa's top weekly RNR party. Add to that I was definitely feeling under the weather (I think a cold or flu impends). Fortunately the three bands made up for it with great sets.

First up was Mississippi Grover, who rocked out in his usual fine one-man wildman style.

The Middens also played a hot set, even though frontman Matt Wells suffered both strap breakage and malfunctioning fuzz chain.

The Shakey Aches also got off to a really good start. I'm going to assume things ended well too, but I was starting to feel a bit shakey and achey myself, so I left after the first handful of songs. At least this time Mean Mad Matthew's vocal reverb was working. -


Live at the Dominion Tavern
All You Get For Free EP
Pretty Bad Records 7"

Buy our debut 7" at



The Shakey Aches are a rowdy garage rock band from Ottawa, Ontario that arose from the ashes of a ton of Ottawa bands, such as Screamin' Fists, The Glads, Monohum, The Desecrators, and Golden Familie. The band's main influences are Memphis, fuzz, girls, and catchy hooks. They've toured all over Ontario and Quebec and have shared the stage with tons of great bands at festivals like Canadian Music Week, Ottawa Explosion, and Pop Montreal. Two of the bands' members, Matt and Tim, co-founded Pretty Bad Records and the band was the first to release a 7" on the label—"Junk Island" b/w "Hunger & Boredom." They also have released a split cassette record on Hosehead Records with Sam Coffey and the Iron Lungs and plan to release a new single and their debut full length in Summer 2012.