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The Shackeltons
The Shackeltons
Loveless Records
www.lovelessrecords.com


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.

-bishop


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