Excellent Italian Greyhound | Touch + Go
By MICHAEL T. FOURNIER  |  July 23, 2007
3.0 3.0 Stars

072707_inside_SHELLACCDThe blueprint for Shellac’s attack is as straightforward as it is severe: the stripped-down sound of a band playing live in a room, with pummeling, precise drums and caught-under-rotors bass anchoring trebly guitar skronk and vocal histrionics. It’s a model bassist Bob Weston and guitarist Steve Albini have perfected as producers/engineers, and on Excellent Italian Greyhound they deliver the expected fistful of vitriolic by-number chuggers. But there are a few surprises to be found, too. “The End of Radio” begins things with a sprawling eight-plus minute lament of broadcast airwaves that cribs lyrics from the Modern Lovers’ “Roadrunner” (and uses a prominent cell phone company’s catchphrase as a chorus). And “Be Prepared” begins with a series of wry false starts before building up to an approximation of big ’70s arena rock. “Kittypants,” a fingerpicked instrumental, sounds like a prime candidate for the stop/start post-rock trickery Albini’s well known for, but it ends as gently as it begins. “Genuine Lulabelle,” another eight-plus minute opus, confirms that Albini’s penchant for all things distasteful remains intact 20 years after Big Black first reveled in slaughterhouses and self-immolation. Who would want it any other way?

Related: Excellent Italian interview, Chairmen of the boards, On the racks: November 21, 2006, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Steve Albini, Bob Weston, Michael Fournier,  More more >
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