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Album Review
Excellent Italian Greyhound

Excellent Italian Greyhound
by Shellac


Review Date
25th June 2007
Reviewed by
Daryl Fincham

If you’ve counted the bars in your favourite instrumental math rock song, or you’ve sifted though vinyl bins cause CDs don’t cut it and any one who owns them is your enemy; then it’s highly likely that not only do you know of Shellac you have their previous records and don't need a single on the radio or to listen in-store before you pick up their latest record.

Shellac are an enigma in the music industry, preferring to avoid interviews and promo opportunities to just let the music be. You’d think it’d lead to a short career? Just the opposite. By avoiding hype and treating the time they play together as a very special occasion, it leaves the brain numbing repetitive bullshit out, like touring the circuit, releasing in 2.5 singles and touring for 2 years.

I love the dedication to the vinyl format (offering the CD as a free cheap add on if you pick up the 12”) and their methodology to the production, using the DMM (Direct Metal Mastering) technique to avoid the maximum amount of interference before the record gets manufactured. And I’d have to agree with the demise of the boring ol' CD. They (the audio lords of old) decided on the audio quality format in the late 70s (16 bit 44.1Khz) and times have changed allot since then. Just cause we can’t audibly hear those frequencies they decided we didn’t need, doesn’t mean they don’t reinforce and join with others

They’ve also followed the exact same guide as their previous records; record at Albini’s Electrical Audio, master at Abbey Road, and organise some shows at their own sporadic pace.

This album reminds me allot of At Action Park and Terraform. It's quick and to the point in places and drawn out (sometimes uncomfortably) in others. It leaves you feeling a little off centre but that's what makes it tick. It’s a brilliant album full of memorable songs that attack in the right place and withdraw seamlessly.

The album opens with 'The End Of Radio', a kind of looping marching song with Todd Trainers beats trying their damndest to throw the whole thing into a spiral; it’s a miracle this song works the way it does. Albini’s speech like vocals coldly rounding this off. Songs like 'Steady As She Goes' follow on in a similar style lending back to the Shellac of old.

This album encompasses Shellac as a band and serve first time listeners to get an initial grounding (before going straight to At Action Park) and should keep the loyalists happy (well not angry, neutral).

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