Brooklyn duo Shellshag offers 32 minutes of lo-fi fun on 'Rumors in Disguise'

After rigorous analysis, Listen, Dammit, has identified three key ingredients that make the music of Shellshag so darn appealing: stripped-down song structures, startlingly catchy hooks and a vibrant feeling of raw spontaneity, all wrapped in lo-fi sonics and laid upside your head.

It seems so simple, and indeed, each ingredient is common enough on its own. Together, they undergo some alchemical reaction that is — forgive the scientific jargon — kickass on the duo’s latest, “Rumors in Disguise” (Don Giovanni).

The Brooklyn duo — guitarist Johnny “Shell” and drummer Jen “Shag” — blasts through 14 songs in just 32 minutes, but they’re 32 of the most invigorating minutes you’ll ever spend.

Opener “1984” builds from simple drums, fuzzy guitar and Jen’s vocal intoning to swirling loops of luscious noise, “Dirty Looks” is a churning punk rave-up and “Rock and Roll Ruined My Life” rides a slow and greasy riff and pairs Johnny’s deep voice with distant harmonies from Jen.

There’s nary a weak track in the bunch, though the jerky stop-start riff of “He Said She Said” and the peaceably unconcerned shrug-off “Resiliant Bastard” (more on that here) are particularly hard to shake off.

Although the band has been around for more than a decade, Shellshag’s discography is at present a short list — just two full-lengths, including “Rumors in Disguise,” an EP and a split-7-inch. Is it too soon to start asking for the next record?

Resiliant Bastard mp3

  1 comment for “Brooklyn duo Shellshag offers 32 minutes of lo-fi fun on 'Rumors in Disguise'

  1. February 19, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    I miss you guys!!! When you coming out to Portland again????

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