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Customer Reviews

That Chicago sound...

Many people probably don't know who Steve Albini is but I guarantee most everyone has heard his work. Steve is a recording engineer (mind you he refuses to be credited as a producer opting to be acknowledged instead as the person who recorded it) and avid supporter of independent music. With his band Big Black (with members of Naked Raygun) in the 1980s he pioneered the use of a drum machine and developed a sound that would eventually become industrial music. He wasn't done though he went on to form the band Rapeman. In my opinion though he didn't really come into his own until he formed the band Shellac. This is where his style really came into its own. The way the drums are mic'ed is one of the signature sounds Steve Albini has been known for over the years. The drumming sometimes feels disjointed but is almost always fitting. He produces sounds out of his guitars that are very unique, getting a bright twanginess from his Chicago made Hamer guitars by having aluminum neck installed and playing with a metal pick that he modified. Unlike many bands where the bass is just kind of there in shellac the bass becomes a driving force in the music. The death of radio and rise of the internet has destroyed any kind of regional scenes there were but if you were ever wondering where the Chicago sound in the 90's came from it was Steve Albini. He has left his fingerprints everywhere. Any Chicago band worth their salt has been through Steve's Electrical Audio Studios. I highly recommend the songs Copper or Canada from this album but the entire album is good as a whole. I have it on CD on Vinyl and now digitally as well. If you want to listen to awful manufactured pop stars for the rest of your life this is not the band for you. If you like 80s and 90s indie this band is a must have.


Formed: 1992 in Evanston, IL

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

More likely to play Reykjavik than Detroit, and more likely to release songs on flexi-discs in Dutch comic books than provide MP3s on their website, Shellac (or Shellac of North America) operated completely outside the typical machinations of the music industry -- their press sheets typically exclaimed "no free lunch," referring to promo copies -- and the trio carved out a sizable niche as a minimalist rock band. Started in an informal setting between infamous engineer and guitarist Steve Albini...
Full Bio
Terraform, Shellac
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