Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Shinobu...

Shinobu is one of those rare bands that send me stuff that I actually like. I try to think of myself as a fairly discerning listener, though I readily acknowledge that I'm often full of shit, which often means that I'm listening to albums the first time through with an overtly critical ear. What I mean is that often I'm initially listening from a position of suspicion. I'm like, what crap are you trying to put over on my ears, bitch? This can put unsolicited band submissions at a distinct disadvantage over the music that I'm legitimately excited about. Shinobu is different. Not that it's perfect, but they have something special. At least part of that specialness lies in the ragged youthfulness of their album Worstward, Ho!, set to come out later this month on Asian Man Records. I've found that people who write about Shinobu try to make a connection that traces a line from Jawbreaker to The Weakerthans, lumping them in with a post-punk lineage that perhaps relies a bit too much on their perceived influence's dissonant boom.

For me Shinobu is a logical flowering of the the noise that Pavement did such a good job of making or what The Replacements would've sounded like if Westerberg had refused to grow up. I'll concede the Weakerthans because that band is particularly good with a melody and much of what makes Shinobu so arresting is their melodicism. When Shinobu is on, as they are on songs like "Not Gonna Happen" "Boourns" and "Regular Love Triangle", the songs seem held together by little more than chewing gum, sweat and a good hook. The tension makes the songs exciting. I like that.

As I said the album isn't perfect. By pusing the album to 14 songs they've violated one of my primary edicts of: make me love you then get the fuck off the stage. They stay a bit too long. I could also do without the extended noodling of the six and a half minute "Hail, Hail, The Executioner", I'd rather not be forced to listen to band practice. Small complaints really given the strengths of the finer songs.

2 songs from Worstward, Ho!:

Boourns

Can Dialectics Break Bricks?

4 Comments:

Anonymous nathan said...

Haven't had a chance to listen, but song titles that reference Situationism promise quite a bit.

8:28 PM  
Anonymous pat said...

i picked up the new record from the band, and its freak'n aces man.

12:35 AM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

It's so great that you wrote about this album...the recklessness, the youthfulness and, for me being an old man, the nostalgia makes this an album I often times repeat rather than move on from.

9:31 AM  
Anonymous J said...

So Jeff...so how old are you anyway.....I'd like to know that I'm not the only one pushing past 55 that thinks who needs old rock when new music is so....
so...
so...
much...
fun!

9:02 PM  

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