SHELLSHAG "Rumors in Disguise " LP
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In attempts to dance about Shellshag's architecture, they've been explained as an amalgam of The Breeders, Sonic Youth, The Ramones, DFA,
avid Byrne, Guided By Voices, Moldy Peaches and early Superchunk—and, because they're a male guitarist/female drummer duo, those touch points
Jack and Meg, Matt and Kim, Juicifer) get tossed around like so much confetti, too. They've played with everyone from Iggy Pop, The Slits, The Cramps,
Lightning Bolt and J. Mascis to Evan Dando, Les Savy Fav, Shonen Knife and their label mates Screaming Females, and their first Gary Young EP
was recorded by Pavement's Gary Young in 2004. Together, Johnny “Shell” and Jen “Shag”, have forged a legacy on both coasts over the course
of this crazy thing we call life: as seminal members of the '90s DIY scene in San Francisco, they ran the now-legendary public arts space Starcleaners,
the former home of the Dandy Warhols, Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Residents and others, they launched their own label of the same name,
releasing Destroy Me, I'm Yours in 2007, and they moved to Brooklyn, forming Shellshag and becoming integral members of the Jersey-based
Don Giovanni family of artists and musicians.
The thing to get, though, is that, aside from the universal truth that all roads point to now, it's not their back story, tour history or the fishing lure mentions of
the scads of played-withs and sounds-likes that is of import. What is of import is that, with Rumors In Disguise, Shellshag has not only made their most incredible,
inspired, hooky, crunchy, distilled and concentrated record yet—they've made the record that will define what making music in the new decade
should be like. Joyous, raw, engaging, innovative, personal, weird, loud, fucking communicative, inclusive, pure. You know, the kind of qualities that
made the experience of digesting and living music magnetic to begin with. That's this record.
The record's heart-theme is made up of the stuff we all, as evolving humans, struggle with, as the band explains: “Most of the songs on the record
are about hope and despair, love and survival, death and fear.” From the grin-laced stubborn pride in Shell's vocals on “Resillient Bastard” to Jen
Shag's tom-heavy heartbeat rhythms on crunchy duet “Means That Much”, every inch put to tape is as real as it gets. Finding honesty and purity of
creative expression in the vastness of what our musical landscape has evolved into is a more difficult task than ever before, and it takes a band like
Shellshag and a record like Rumors in Disguise to answer that search. Now, listen.
Rumors in Disguise was recorded at Rodent Studios, now called Light Rail Studios in San Francisco CA in 2009 by Elton Ridge and Eric Haas,
and at Hunt Studios in Millstone NJ by Eric bennet and Marissa Padernoster . Mastered by Tom Ruff at Asbury Media.
Guest musicians are Jason Lee, Nick Dimitriu, Greg Turner, Marissa Padernoster, Eric Haas, and Cait McLaughlin.
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