Infused with a life rarely seen, The Shackeltons take
lo-fi garage rock to new levels by just existing.
There is something inherently different and good about The Shackeltons,
this indefinable essence, that even if you could quantify it,
no other band could replicate the success. Part simplicity, part
commitment and purely movement, it just works so well to create
this beautiful album that invades you as a listener. This energy
pervades the record like a nervous tension that hovers over the
quiet sections and swoops in for the kill during the breaks.
Sounding like the bastard product of so many intelligent influences,
you have this stark landscape of production that never sugarcoats
the music, rather lets it speak from its soul with blemishes and
all. At times it sounds like early The Cramps with lyric
rhythm and open-room sound, at others the singer breaks in to
Tom Waits-esque storytelling that is kept aloft by solid
rock that could be compared to Sonic Youth. But while it
may be easy to assign sections to certain forerunners, the completed
product is nothing but The Shackeltons.
Barely distorted guitar brings an authenticity to this over-produced
world; guitar lines are kept simple and clean, almost to a minimalistic
level while accurately furthering the intensity and maintaining
the common theme. Bass labors along, sometimes in the front with
nice rolling lines that make help focus the songs, sometimes in
the background supporting the other rolls. Drums maximize the
input/output formula by never over-doing any backings, but never
letting the movement lull either. Overall, the entire band shows
a unity that ignores individual ego and coalesces into this coherent
single mass which is the music.
The key to this entire winning style is the ability of this band
to tease and release the builds into a worthy end; the best analogy
I can come up with is the dawn. You see this beam of light on
the horizon that grows and grows, you can feel the potential the
inevitable warmth, and finally the sun comes up and it is beautiful
and bright and everything you wanted. "Emergency" is
such a case that should be studied by other bands in hopes of
catching a glimpse of where they should be going.
Everything an album could be is here; everything a band should
do is present. It is a rare opportunity to witness perfection,
don't miss your chance.
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