Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Arcwelder + Shellac

ARCWELDER Formed 1988, Minnesota. Five LPs (Touch + Go Records).

sounds like: Mission Of Burma, Battles

Shellac Formed 1992, Chicago. Four LPs (Various Labels).

sounds like: Big Black, Gang of Four, Polvo

WOW Hall: 12$ at the Door.

Monday night concert at the WoW hall; hit or miss. Didn't know what to expect coming into this concert, because I hadn't given Steve Albini's music beyond Big Black much attention.

Arcwelder opened, with Grippin bass lines, Ear splitting harmonics, and decent singer. I will never understand why a band would have a drummer as the lead singer. There is something inherently uncool about a man sitting down, canting his neck to the microphone, but they pull it off.

Shellac is famous due to their lead singer, Steve Albini. The man behind Big Black went on to produce some of the most successful records in decades (Nirvana, The Pixies, The Stooges.) His unique record production is based on the idea of isolating the vocals, letting the bass shine through as the lead, and blasting the listener with extremely distorted guitar. The effect is very powerful and influenced many post-punk/grunge/shoegazing music of the early 90s. But enough fawning over Albini's production, lets talk about Shellac. Their sound is best qualified as a cross between bass driven 70s punk, with heavy funk influence. Very tight set.

They played for about two hours, stopping every once in a while to chat with the audience and have a Q&A session. Good show, tip top performers. Definitely worth a look at

Suggested Listening:
1000 Hurts - Prayer to God. Simple song; good introduction to their style
1000 Hurts- Mama Gina. One of their more drawn out songs; the breakdown at 4:40 on is the highlight
Terraform- Copper. Their "single". Very catchy, very short

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