Monday, 24 October 2011

058 - Shellac

- is it really broadcasting if there's no-one there to receive? -




This track is best described by violent adjectives such as coarse, smouldering and unnerving, brought to you by an american trio who champion analogue, lo-fi sounds with a distinctly stripped-down, minimalistic approach to post-hardcore. The vocals are original if only for the dour and sarcastic way in which they are delivered. Steve Albini talks of the world in a way you might associate someone mentally unstable occupying some street-corner (he repeats himself, states non-sequitors and raises his voice unpredictably). Drummer Todd Trainer has adopted a refreshingly primal approach to percussion, thrashing skins in an off-kilter fashion, ad hoc, driving the track's skitty/scatty  feel. To top it off, the seemingly irrational percussive style is offset against the band's guitarist's, who hypnotically strums the same three chords over and over again, in precisely the same manner, for the majority of the track.  As such, a subtle contrast of steadiness against unreliability is set up between them while Albini's at times thought-provoking and humorous words over the top, making for an engaging combination.

What we are left with is a brilliantly dark and angry track, without the excess of death metal. It has the feeling more of a weapon-wielding psychopath slowly walking with certainty as opposed to charging with rage, which, I imagine, would prove somewhat more frightening to be on the receiving end of. As such, the minimalistic approach to horror this track evinces cuts deeper, feels more lasting than a, for example, screamy  expression of such disquietude. In short, if you ever wanted to know what "Preparing for a Disturbing Act" sounded like, I think it'd be something like this:

Shellac- End of Radio - (buy)

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