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The dog’s bollocks.In a week when indie bands are falling over themselves to get their music onto tacky television commercials (cough, Wilco, Deerhoof, Architecture In Helsinki…) three snarky curmudgeons from the cold Midwest can still be relied upon to fly the flag for rock’s awkward, anti-commercial underground. Arriving in its own sweet time (every song here has been honed over seven years of sporadic live sets), Excellent Italian Greyhound is vintage Shellac: stark, razorous and blackly comic, lurching into whatever time signature happens to possess drummer Tod Trainer.
Opener, The End Of Radio, which takes up nearly a quarter of the record, is the most remarkable thing they’ve ever done. An abrasive three-chord march, it sees Steve Albini imagining the apocalypse from the position of an AM disc jockey, broadcasting his catchphrases into the void: “This one goes out to a special girl. There is no special girl…” The marketing executives won’t be on the phone quite yet, anyway.
Shellac - Excellent Italian Greyhound, released 18 June 07 on Touch & Go.
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