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ShellShag

Destroy Me I'm Yours

(Starcleaner; US: 5 Mar 2008; UK: Available as import)

Brooklyn duo ShellShag have played with a lot of people and are known for their rather rowdy live shows. Nothing like The White Stripes or any other duo for that matter, ShellShag rely on gritty vocals, minimal arrangements and an energy that probably works better on stage than on this record. Lead singer Shell shrieks at times through “Shut Up” but sounds just as much like David Bryne on other occasions. Think Death From Above 1979 and things get a bit clearer for this track. Meanwhile “Bridge” and especially “Make Love” could have been recorded by The Breeders in their heyday but “Happiness” is the first real gem presented, a fuzzy, guitar-driven number. “Gary’s Note” name-drops Joey Ramone and seems to be the band’s ballad but things get back to normal with “Little Birdy” that could have been found on Paul Westerberg’s Mono/Stereo album. Fortunately ShellShag aren’t reinventing the wheel with this record, but they definitely have something to offer judging by “Kiss Me Harder” and “Shallow”.

Rating:

Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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