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Shellac

Discussion in 'Punk Rock/Garage Rock/Indie Rock' started by mrJim, Jan 28, 2017.

  1. mrJim

    mrJim Senior Member

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    Band Website: Shellac | Touch and Go / Quarterstick Records

    Shellac was formed in 1992 by Steve Albini (vocalist/guitarist) and drummer Todd Trainer in Chicago, IL, USA and short time after Bob Weston took over the bassist duties. It’s hard for me to see it but the band gets classified as post-hardcore but I have heard the members refer to themselves as minimalist and punk. Typically the band does not keep a predictable schedule of performances or albums as the members have primary jobs and are dispersed with Albini and Weston in Chicago and Todd Trainer a good bit away in Minnesota.

    Steve Albini and Bob Weston are both record producers/recording engineers. Most know Steve Albini who has worked with Nirvana (In Utero), Pixies, The Stooges and the list just goes on. Weston is no slouch and has been all over the alternative and under ground music scene. In addition to his day job Todd Trainer is a solo performer under the name Brick Layer Cake whose shows I find interestingly entertaining. I suggest looking up Brick Layer Cake on YouTube to have a look. If you don’t know these guys check out their backgrounds on Wikipedia or Internet it’s really cool and amazing.

    Shellac’s music is pretty distinctive and they tend to go minimal with old school bare bones attitudes. If you are looking for traditional verse/chorus/verse song structures and studio albums with “full” arrangements it’s just not what Shellac is. The song structures send all kinds of confusing signals that lead you to anticipate they are building to a certain direction or riff then they unexpectedly stop or burst into a brief all-out frenzy. They introduce a lot of irregular starting and stopping with varying amount of silence between start/stop points so they rely heavily on their sense of timing. These guys have good chemistry and all are bought in, it is definitely sort of “man” energy and enthusiasm combined with sense of humor and sarcasm. Lyrics are short, blunt, contain expletives and have a sarcastic bite that you will either love or hate.

    The band members are always willing and able to question society culture, actions, or poke topics and events they are particularly passionate or enthusiastic about. During live shows the band has “question and answer sessions” where they field questions from the audience providing off the cuff and sometimes wise ass answers to both fans and hecklers.

    Steve Albini handles the guitar work using a pickup tweaked Travis Bean, overdriven amp (crazy boxes) and distortion pedal making crazy cool tone while he slings the Bean around like mad… but don’t expect any complex solos. Great Noise and mayhem. Bob Weston handles bass duties and that is no small task as there is significant bass play distortion and all in much of Shellac’s music. Todd Trainer handles drums. Trainer’s brutal primitive drum style is downright “attack mode” but he maintains such great timing that keeps everything in line. It’s not uncommon for him to savagely wail away on the snare with 2 hands and then just dead stop. I think he really is just classic and amazing one of my top 2 favorite drummers.

    Of their 5 full length studio albums I think At Action Park, Dude Incredible and Excellent Italian Greyhound are the top three. Dude Incredible (2014) was their last album release and was really good and long term maybe be seen as their best ever.

    Minimal, raw, old school, high energy analog goodness. Hopefully I will be able to see these guys live someday they are on my list of bands to see.

    MrJim

    Albums
    At Action Park (1994)
    Terraform (1998)
    1000 Hurts (2000)
    Excellent Italian Greyhound (2007)
    Dude Incredible (2014)

    Not released commercially:
    Futurist (1997)
    Futurist was only release to friends of the band and 779 names of those who received copies appear on the cover of the album.



    Riding Bikes


    The End of Radio


    Prayer to God


    Crow
     
  2. AboutAGirl

    AboutAGirl oh, be nice

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    Shellac's pretty cool, I love Albini. Not as good as Rapeman though.
     
  3. mrJim

    mrJim Senior Member

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    @AboutAGirl, I like Steve Albini as well, although it seems alota folks are turned off by his personality. But I doubt it bothers him much. I do like the Rapeman stuff as well but prefer Schellac. The EP with Inki's Butt Crack/Song Number One just classic no fear.

    Schellac does a spectacular job on their vinyl top, notch, they set bar. A lot of thought and care goes into the art work and packaging, heavy top quality vinyl and love the way Albini captures the sound of Drums.

    They seem to like to have fun with it as well
    Spoke Live


    Gotta Love Todd Trainer


    Jim
     
  4. AboutAGirl

    AboutAGirl oh, be nice

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    That's interesting, what reputation does his personality have? I actually met him and he was very charming and nice.
     
  5. mrJim

    mrJim Senior Member

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    I like his personality ... logical and direct honest. It's more about reading and coming across commentary or opinions about his personality that I was referring to.

    This video kind of touches on it a bit.


    Although some have strong opinions on him, I think its a lot of BS. he seems like a decent guy to me that is direct and has learned from life not just watched it go by.

    certainly his blunt comments about the record industry and his philosophical opinion on media and recording may not sit well in other folks wheel house. but who cares

    Jim
     
  6. rtbuck

    rtbuck Senior Member

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    I like Shellac! I also love the job Albini did on Cheap Trick's In Color 1998(even though it wasn't an official release it's out there to be heard) It's so much more raw than original Cheap Trick In Color from 1977
     
  7. mrJim

    mrJim Senior Member

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    Buck I would highly recommend the reworked Nirvana's In Utero album he did in 2013. The copy I have is called In utero 2013 Mix its 2 45rpm LPs on 180-gram heavy vinyl. It includes a 320kbps digital download.

    In Utero was my favorite Nirvana album but this thing kills the original. The song mixes are what I think the original should have been and it sounds fantastic.

    I had a feeling when I created this thread I should have created an Albini thread :D

    So lets throw these out there

    Buck this one is about how groups of people want to go out but can't decide where and just go. Sounds familiar to the our old days ?
    Dude Incredible



    All the Surveyors



    Steve deals with a heckler (My Black Ass)


    Lots of good Shellac ! :grinthumb
     

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